Guest Editorial: Dysfunction in the OCA

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By Ken Miller

The transcript of the personal audience of Fr Vasile Susan with Archbishop +Job of blessed memory has recently gotten increased attention, though it has been available for several years (see the full text at Fr Vasile Susan was removed from his parish in 2004 without any charges, explanation, or due process, and he remains without assignment. Fr Vasile believes that his removal was a result of his insistence that the canons should be followed in regards to another Romanian Archdiocese priest who admitted to Fr Vasile and two other priests to being homosexual and who was revealed in a signed letter from his wife to be an active and unrepentant homosexual.

As a documented primary source, this stands above a lot of the Internet chatter in terms of authority. Another documented primary source is Metropolitan +Jonah’s Sante Fe address to the bishops given in February 2011 (see the full text at These two documents reveal some common themes of dysfunction within OCA leadership, and I will attempt to thematically weave the evidence provided in these documents to expose OCA dysfunction in the areas of homosexual cover-ups, disregard for the truth, abuse of power, disregard for church canons and statutes, and injustice.

Homosexual Cover-Ups

Archbishop +Job stated: “The OCA Metropolitan and Synod is very much aware of the sensitiveness of your case, of the ROEA Archbishop’s cover ups, and of the ROEA homosexual priest. As for the fact that nobody wants to reach to the roots of the case, I cannot talk about…. There are so many OCA homosexual cases not resolved.” He further states: “The OCA hierarchs protect and cover up the homosexual clergymen, because it is embarrassing and even disturbing to touch these issues. There is no doubt in my mind that the OCA hierarchy is covering up the OCA homosexual clergymen.”

In Metropolitan +Jonah’s Sante Fe address, he stated: “They want someone they can manipulate, who will submit to them, and like Theodosius, be so weak every word is scripted and every appearance stage managed, with the chancellor running the real show.” [EDITOR’S NOTE: the Sons of Job made serious allegations against Metropolitan Theodosius and Metropolitan Herman. Monomakhos regrets the fact that they were made on this blog]. This was not by accident, but by design, because the puppet masters in the OCA have for decades kept their power by controlling morally compromised hierarchs. Metropolitan +Jonah was not morally compromised, and thus presented a problem for them.

+Jonah continued his characterization of the homosexual problem in the OCA: “In short, we have a conspiracy with an agenda that will destroy the Church…Underlying this is a very bitter subtext, the gay agenda, which demands one type of moral code for clergy, another for the laity accepting that agenda. I will not stand for this. This group is a bunch of bullies, who are willing to use any means to advance their agenda, and rip apart their enemies.”

The OCA leadership’s cover-ups of homosexual sin of certain clergy presents at least two problems: It undermines the salvation of the flock under their charge, and it is hypocritical.

The Holy Scriptures state: “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.” (I Cor. 6:9-10). Unrepentant sexual sins are very serious and harmful to the soul, and to allow them to continue in the clergy profoundly compromises the message of repentance through which we, the faithful, “work out our own salvation.”

The OCA keeps an outward veneer of adhering to historic Orthodox morality while secretly doing the opposite in private. The term for this is hypocrisy, and this is a deadly sin. We would do well to heed our Lord’s words “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchers, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.” (Matt 23:27)

Disregard for the Truth

Archbishop +Job stated: “It is painful because you are telling the truth, and some of the OCA bishops do not like to hear and know that. The cover up practice cannot be [changed] over night within the OCA Synod. It dies hard.” Also, “Nobody within the OCA Synod likes site, because it is too open and sometimes brings the truth to everyone, and the truth hurts.”

Metropolitan +Jonah stated: “The SMPAC Memorandum … is a purely political document, aimed at discrediting me. It is all about the power and authority of the chancellor, and how the Metropolitan has not submitted to the chancellor. And most of it is a twisted subversion of the truth…. There is not one instance of actual violation of policies or the Sexual Misconduct guidelines cited. Nor is there even one violation of the canons cited. Rather, it is impressions and opinions, but no actual facts. There is no evidence brought forth. I supply the evidence and most of the letters quoted in my response, and they do not support the Memo’s allegations.”

Indeed, Christine Fevronia has amassed an amazing compilation of documented facts that contradict or are in tension with the bishops’ statement justifying the removal of Metropolitan +Jonah, including some of the letters that +Jonah had presented to the bishops to expose the inaccuracy of the SMPAC report. Christine’s analysis, replete with footnoted documentation, can be found at Despite the facts, the bishops chose to disregard the evidence with regard to the SMPAC report and ultimately removed +Jonah based on that fatally flawed document.

Truth is the foundation for all that is good. The righteous live according to the truth, in full transparency and openness, while evildoers fear the truth and transparency because it reveals their evil deeds. We do well to remember the words of Holy Scripture: “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” (John 8:44)

Abuse of Power

Archbishop +Job stated “As I said, it is very sad to see the case and your questions addressed to me not answered in a good faith and proper manner. The OCA Synod should operate much different than it is doing at the present time. The balance of power within the OCA Synod is an issue I cannot talk too much about. Special interests are at stake, and maneuvers of some allies take precedence over the good faith and justice…The OCA Synod will not act against the ROEA Archbishop in case nothing will go public, and bring shame upon the OCA bishops.” He further stated: “As for the ‘due canonical procedure and due process of the law’, this should be in place and properly used within the Church court trials, proceedings. Not having something like these in place … is a signal or indication of abuse of power, corruption.” Indeed, “canonical procedure and due process of law” would normally act as a restraint on abuse of power, but in their absence, abuse of power runs unchecked.

Metropolitan Jonah stated: “[The SMPAC Memorandum] is not about how I handled cases of sexual misconduct, but rather about [Fr Alexander Garklavs], and his power. It is about how I did or did not consult him. And where I did, he takes it and twists it, making me sound incompetent.” And again: “But there is an underlying temptation that is the core of this whole demonic prelest: lust for power and beneath that, rejection of authority.”

The culture of OCA governance has had corruption since its inception, and it is rooted in personal ambition for power. Recall the words of our Lord: “But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them. But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister: And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all. For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:42-45).

Disregard for Canons and Statutes

Archbishop Job stated: “Punishment without hearing or Church Tribunal trial is nothing else but the abuse of power and of Church rules and Canonical order.” In a similar vein, he stated: “The process was un-canonical. The OCA statute provides along with the ROEA Constitution and By-Laws clear provisions and procedures, which have been totally ignored by the OCA Metropolitan [+Herman], and the ROEA Archbishop [+Nathaniel]. This is a real abuse of power. I’m sorry to say this.” He further stated: “The Biblical, Canonical and Church Charters provisions and procedures are avenues for peace and tranquility. But the most important things are concerning the people that govern in Church. Church governance should be in a Christ like manner. Unfortunately, this is not the case within the OCA at the present time.”

Metropolitan +Jonah was a champion of acting canonically, and was strongly opposed: “My assertion of Episcopal and canonical authority within the church is creating great opposition within this group. It is for this reason, I think, that they are mustering their forces against me, to try to force me to resign and take a leave. I will not.” This statement at Sante Fe was made in February 2011, well over a year before they actually succeeded in forcing Jonah to resign.


Perhaps the most damnable indictment against OCA governance is injustice. Justice demands that all human beings be treated with fairness, respect, and due process.

Archbishop +Job touches on the human side of this tragedy: Nobody should suffer injustice within the Church. There are cases when the abuse of power is negatively affecting more than the priest, including his family and parish people.” He further stated: “It is obvious that you have an interest to have your case heard and resolved. The OCA Synod at the present time does not intend to do something like that. I did not hear anything in these regards. However, as for me I have no doubts that Biblical, Canonical, and Church Charter provisions, procedures have been broken, breached. I feel very sorry for that, as well as for the endurance and sufferings of your family too.”

The arrogance of power is revealed when personal ambition eclipses the concern for human suffering that results from injustice. It is unconscionable that a faithful priest like Fr Vasile was removed from his parish without any charges or explanation. The bishops were more than happy to let an innocent man languish for years than to have to deal with “embarrassing” issues themselves.

Metropolitan +Jonah stated: “…a small group of people in and around the MC are determined to undermine the Metropolitan; and the very nature of the Episcopal authority…. They are bullies, asserting their own will, motivated by their passions, and tearing down and destroying everyone who opposes them.” Indeed, this cabal of conspirators ultimately removed +Jonah from office based on fabricated excuses, and they have yet to respectfully give +Jonah a diocese suitable to his position. They were more than happy to let +Jonah go through hell in order to further their own political ambitions.

Consider what the Holy Scriptures say: “what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” (Micah 6:8). Justice is at the core of our humanity, and requires us to act at all times with compassion, respect, honesty, and due process.

The Way Forward

Change will not happen in the OCA unless the rank-and-file take action. Those involved in the prelest of power and ambition are unable to understand the spiritual mind because it is foolishness to them. I suggest three steps that I think will result in a positive future for the OCA: Prayer, exposing and holding leadership accountable to the truth, and willingness to challenge corrupt and un-canonical behavior in court.

All things are possible through prayer, and I think it is an under-utilized resource for furthering God’s kingdom in this fallen world. I understand that we as Orthodox pray more than most, but do we pray as earnestly and incessantly as the widow seeking justice from the unjust judge? Do we specifically pray that God will purify the church, raise up selfless, transparent, and holy leaders, and expose and clean up the ungodly cover-ups, disregard for truth, lust for and abuse of power, disregard for the Scriptures, Traditions, and canons of the church, and denials of justice to the innocent? Do we pray it every day? How long? Do we repeat it over and over as the widow, relying on the power of God to purify the church, or do we trust our own efforts and logical arguments?

Even worse, are we in denial, thinking that if everything is ok in our local parish, we can look the other way and accept the corruption in OCA leadership as just the way it is. What we pray for reveals a lot about us. Do we pray primarily for our own selfish health, wealth, and power, or do we pray for forgiveness and purgation of our own sins and for the pure kingdom of God to prevail in the Church? God respects our free will, and as long as we don’t care about the corruption at the core of the OCA, God will allow us to reap the consequences of that attitude. However, if we cooperate with grace and pray earnestly for purity in the OCA, we will begin to reap the blessings of those prayers.

Once we have a foundation of prayer, the second step is to expose and hold our leaders accountable to the truth. The truth is like sanitizing sunlight that shines in dark places. Corruption loves darkness because its deeds are evil. The pure kingdom of God loves light and transparency, and is like a light on a hill that cannot be hid. Archbishop +Job observed: “The Internet is seen like a killer by the OCA Bishops. They don’t like the truth to be confronted with and be made public.” Special attention should be given to primary sources which are beyond dispute. Where there is evidence of cover-up, we must demand an open and independent investigation. For example, many laity in the OCA have signed a petition ( demanding an independent investigation into potentially un-canonical behavior in the removal of Metropolitan +Jonah and the myriad of discrepancies in the official statement of the justification for this move. All who love the truth must not allow the OCA to sweep these discrepancies under the rug.

Finally, we must be willing to challenge corrupt and un-canonical behavior in court, both civil and canonical, when appropriate. Archbishop +Job observed the following: “The rule of the Church law should not be ignored. Can the civil court compel the OCA to do that? Maybe!” Of course, the best route to effecting change in the OCA would be for insiders inside the OCA power structures to repent and to become champions of open and transparent adherence to the canons, willing to shine a bright light in all corners of the OCA to expose what has been going on, and work to remedy all of the injustices.

Until that happens, however, change can only come from the outside. Lawsuits are the only mechanism to hold the leadership accountable from the outside. Those who love the OCA must work to clean up the corruption. Those who choose to look the other way and ignore corruption reveal through their actions that they do not love the OCA or care about the evangelization of America.

Let us take to heart the words of the Apostle as we embark on this Spiritual warfare: “Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints” (Eph 6:14-18)

I close this article with encouraging words of Archbishop +Job: “God knows about every cover up, every wrong doing against you and some others within the OCA. People [are] very much aware of the OCA misdeeds. There is one God who will set up a Day of Judgment, and everyone should be accountable, including the OCA Synod. God’s justice is right and final. Believe in God.”

Will the OCA’s corrupt political machine ever have a day of reckoning? Through the mercy of Him who loves mankind and His holy Church, I believe the answer is – Yes!


  1. Just wondering, is anyone aware of any person or group attempting to compile documents such as the one above and the compilation of Chrstine Fevronia to be mailed to every OCA parish, to the attention of the priest and parish delegates, prior to the convention? It would seem like a good strategy.

    • How does one get addresses of parishioners nation wide?

    • Ken Miller says

      It would be a good strategy, but time is short, and it would be quite expensive. Get involved. Send an e-mail to the group that posted the petition to get connected and networked. It is frustrating how many people and parishes are totally oblivious to the truth, in some cases volunatarily because of the culture of looking the other way and not being shocked when scandals are evident, and in some cases simply because they don’t read the Internet and they have not heard.

  2. anonymus per Scorilo says

    It is a bit of a stretch to link Fr. Susan’s case with Met. Jonah, and I think it hurts the latter.

    Remember that Fr. Susan’s article in which he called all OCA bishops, including Met. Jonah : “unmerciful, false, abusive, dishonest, unorthodox, un-romanian, unfaithful” (nemiloșii, falșii, abuzivii, necinstiții, neortodocșii, neromânii, necredincioșii episcopi din Biserica Ortodoxă Americană (OCA), appeared in Feb 2011, right around Santa Fe ( ).

    • Disgusted With It says

      anonymus per Scorilo,

      It does seem that Fr. Susan has made some controversial accusations against the bishops. However, I can’t help but realize the comment you quote is from 7 YEARS AFTER he was removed. Obviously this comment did not cause his removal.

      Reading about his case, the basic questions seem clear — Was he let go in retaliation for pushing the issue of a homosexually active clergyman who was never properly disciplined? Okay, it seems he was an investigator in an official investigation, but what were the results of that so-called investigation? Was it perhaps just swept under the rug or ignored like so many other OCA homosexual clergy situations? If you were investigating a situation of improper behavior and found credible evidence of it, wouldn’t you be upset if your findings were ignored, or even worse covered up, and then you were the one being put out on the street with no official reason given?

      I’m inclined to feel sorry for Fr. Susan, but my greatest concern is the possibility that an active homosexual was allowed by his bishop, and possibly others, to continue as an active clergyman. If this is the kind of thing the OCA condones, then they should just stop “playing church” right now and call it quits.

      • George Michalopulos says

        At the end of the day, the question that has to be asked about Fr Vasile Susan is: was he treated decently as a human being, much less a priest. He had done nothing wrong but voice a concern about a priest who was not-so-secretly engaged in sin. He did what Scripture commanded, which is go to his bishop. His bishop though chose to ignore his complaints and punished him in return without giving him his day in court. Now this poor man has to struggle to survive and feed and clothe his family. There is no way you can tell me that this is not a disgrace.

        The old days of “well, you don’t know the full story” just won’t cut it anymore. Where’s the Accountability? Where’s the Transparency?

        • anonymus per Scorilo says

          He had done nothing wrong but voice a concern about a priest who was not-so-secretly engaged in sin

          It is not as simple as that. He was in the investigating committee, and I believe he knew about the “priest engaged in sin” situation for quite a while. He chose to blow it much later, probably when he figured out he was about to be moved from his parish, and thus broke the oath of allegiance that he took when he joined the Romanian Episcopate and the oath of secrecy he probably took when he was appointed on the investigating committee. So much for the “Fr. Susan the anti-gay crusader” narrative . . .

          As for the reason for why he and other Romanian priests that were making egregious statements (like Fr. Bleahu) were replaced, I can only guess that Abp. Nathaniel has found what he believes to be more competent and less controversial priests to replace them. In quite a few “capitalist” companies this is a good enough reason to fire employees, and this is the way the Romanian dioceses function.

          If you believe a more “socialist” model, with clergy unions that fight against arbitrary assignments, is fit for the Orthodox Church, I have good news for you – several priests in the Metropolia of Oltenia in Romania have created such a union, and the Romanian Patriarchate and Romanian Government are actively trying to stamp it out; the union recently won some trial at the European Human Rights Court (google translate if you want further info).

          • Disgusted With It says

            “He was in the investigating committee, and I believe he knew about the “priest engaged in sin” situation for quite a while. He chose to blow it much later, probably when he figured out he was about to be moved from his parish…”

            I would think that because he was a part of the investigation committee perhaps he tried all the “proper channels” in order to resolve the issue, and then finally made it more public when he was convinced it was going no where. I suppose only those who were involved in the investigation or work directly in the archbishop’s office would know the extent of his protests before he went public. For any of us to assert that he didn’t protest before it reached our ears in the public forum would be careless speculation. Again, all the more reason for a competent and honest investigation into the allegations.

        • anonymus per Scorilo says

          He had done nothing wrong but voice a concern about a priest who was not-so-secretly engaged in sin

          Unfortunately, he did much more. He made very strong statements against the Romanian Episcopate being in the OCA and not under Bucharest, openly defying Abp. Nathaniel. He also was part of a group that openly slandered Bp. Irineu before his election. Those were public statements, in Romanian newspapers and from the pulpit of his church. Most of the Romanians from the Chicago area know the story; the newspapers are unfortunately not online, but I am sure there are plenty of paper versions and people who remember.

          This happened long before 2004 (Bp Irineu’s election took place in 2002) and I was told by a priest who was in Chicago at the time that Abp. Nathaniel urged him to stop and to repent numerous times before he took action.

          According to his recent letter to pokrov, Fr. Susan knew about the gay priest since 1999 (when he investigated said priest as part of the ROEA investigation committee). I believe the only reason he brought up the issue was to present himself as a persecuted crusader for the truth when it became clear he was going to be removed. There is no other explanation why he kept this hidden for 5 years.

          • George Michalopulos says

            Regardless, the moral accusation against the other priest is the only one that mattered. The rest is politics. In bringing it up you are doing nothing more than engaging in distractions.

            • Basil Takach says

              But, if true (and I don’t follow Romanian politics so I have no idea), doesn’t it lend further support for the real need for one administrative structure (or three at most) on this continent? Time for all of us to check our baggage at the curb and make this a reality. If you look to the history of the USA and the fractious history leading from the Revolution to the Articles of Confederation to our Constitution (which if you remember your history required ten amendments to it before it was even adopted ) you know that many compromises had to be made by men with strongly held beliefs about the proper form of the nascent nation. We all have to agree that their efforts were worth the trouble – and the compromises which were needed. We all should give it a shot.

            • anonymus per Scorilo says

              According to Fr. Vasile’s documents on pokrov, the ROEA church tribunal considered the case back in 1999, and took a certain action (which, incidentally, I do not agree with). It was not Fr. Vasile who brought up the accusation, but the presbytera of that priest.

              Fr. Vasile was in this tribunal, and quietly accepted its decision for 5 years, but kept personal copies of all the things (some are in his recent pokrov post). When he brought this up again in 2005 this was clearly a vendetta/punishment against Abp. Nathaniel for taking his parish.

              This dirty pattern of photocopying files of the ROEA church tribunal and using them to try to blackmail the Archbishop seems to have been quite widespread. The late Fr. Casian Fetea also did this when he served in the tribunal, and his brother Adrian Fetea who was defrocked by Abp. Nathaniel and who has the files recently released another trove to pokrov.

      • Ken Miller says

        If you read through all the documents, it appears that the homosexual priest did continue without repercussions for some time, and finally, in the words of Fr Tosi, was “released to the winds”, meaning not released to any specific jurisdiction, but released from the OCA without any charges, hearings, trial, etc. He was then picked up by the Ukrainians, where he currently serves. I think that practice of “releasing to the winds” raises some serious issues of canonical practice. It is far too common in the Orthodox world to simply release a scanalized priest to let them serve in another jurisdiction with a clean slate. The culture of sweeping under the rug has to change. If someone is involved in a scandal, formal and open charges need to be made, a church trial needs to take place in which testimony is made public and the accused can speak in their own defense, and if the person is found guilty, a pronouncement needs to be made about their worthiness to continue in their clerical office.

        • Fr. Peter Dubinin says

          You bring up a very valid concern; one which could be significantly mitigated if the Orthodox churches in the USA were in fact one church. It seems to me the mechanism to safeguard the faithful from morally compromised, dangerous clergy, as part of a united church is one of the most compelling reasons to get this one church in the USA going. Though morally compromised, dangerous clergy are a clear and present danger, it is much more difficult to evade and hide when there is only one structure to address clergy discipline as opposed to a plurality.

          With a number of significant issues maintaining the separation of our churches, there may be enough compromised clergy in the mix to keep any and all efforts to come together as an Orthodox Church an exercise in futility. Can you imagine the incredibily ugly and chaotic situation to result with clergy and maybe even hierarchs working to “dig up dirt” in an effort to manipulate control and even grow their “feifdoms,” when the inevitable power struggles ensue from a newly united Orthodox Church? We really missed a “God-moment” in 1994 (read Ligonier) when it seemed the Holy Spirit was working among our hierarchs, clergy and faithful to come together (a work in which repentance and reconciliation by all would have been the distinctive mark); and yes, under the leadership of Archbishop Iakovos of blessed memory – one of the few hierarchs to do the right thing because God was in it, knowing that it could result in his censure, as it did.

          So, a united Church would go a long way for us Orthodox truly living our “Church” life in greater proximity and conformity to canon law – safeguarding the faithful, especially our little ones less able to defend themselves against compromised clergy. On the flipside, is there too much “dirt” to practically render futile any effort to bring the churches together? I fear we have been and will continue to be in a dark place for quite some time.

          • George Michalopulos says

            Thank you for your wise words Fr. I can see how a united Church could provide a mechanism for renewal and adjudication of clerical/hierarchical misdeeds, but only if it freed of the auspices of the Phanar. As for the OCA several things will have to happen if it is to show the other jurisdictions the way.

            May I suggest three?

            1. The redifinition of the Metropolitan Council into a truly public forum in which all its proceedings are televised.

            2. The creation of a standing ecclesiastical court made up of an equal number of bishops, priests, a couple of canonists, and legally-trained laymen, perhaps nine men and that their terms of service be set and staggered.

            3. The election of qualified candidates for the Episcopate on a local level and the presentation of a triposopon to the Holy Synod for mandatory and speedy election.

            • Fr. Peter Dubinin says

              I agree with your observation – “but only if it freed from the auspices of the Phanar.” Unfortunately the Phanar will always have its men in place; but I guess that’s the nature of organizations comprised of human beings. Regarding your other proposal – “spot on.” Not only would these three elements provide a right and proper place for misdeeds, allegations to be addressed and present concerns of the Church to be aired and discussed, it would be a big step toward the restoration of trust – a direct product of accountability and transparency. I would add, just for intentionality because I think the following is implied in your proposal, individuals from the laity or clergy bringing a known false accusation against a Christian in the Church be appropriately disciplined.

              • George Michalopulos says

                Of course. I stand with Camille Paglia during the Clarence Thomas/Anita Hill brouhaha in which she said that false charges should be dealth with harshly. I fervently believe that.

                • George Michalopulos says

                  BTW, I don’t really believe in the MC in the first place. Nobody could ever really tell me what it is that they do. Of course there is no coherent organizational chart for the OCA. Therefore no Accountability and as far as the hyper-secretive MC is concerned, no Transparency.

            • MatushkaCarol says

              What about women in an church court?

              Who are the long standing victims of the long term networked abuse?
              The clergy wives and families who have no voice.

              I see all of the Orthodox Churches hopelessly holding on to the values that priests and bishops can do what ever they “d … well please” as it was stated to me.

              Let go of every strong tied to power playing countries outside the United States and make a clean sweep of the demons attacking from within and without.

              Pray continually and start anew.

              Most mission work in America has really been some work of break off from this or that parish or entity anyway.

              What is holy is what is clean and in the light.

              Those lightbearers should unite, and let the rest to grovel in their sodomy, instead of being pulled into every cover up possible.

              Archbishop Job was getting it and trying and lived long enough to help point the way, but we must do the work.

              Archbishop Job Osasky repeatedly acknowledged Christmas Monastery and our prayer and work victims of those abused within the Orthodox Church. We stand as a link in the tradition and to
              continually pray “Let God arise and let His enemies be scattered”.

              • What the…! Could someone please sort all that out and try to make sense of it for me? You know, “Who’s on First? ” “Where’s the beef?” and so on. I’m coming up on 80 soon and I’m having a hard enough time learning Persian…this sort of thing requires advanced training to puzzle out.
                “MatushkaCarol” What’s that? One word? Iin what parish is she the matushka?
                And who is her batiushka that gives sense and meaning to her label? And is he her teacher? Is she following the Epistle read at weddings?

              • Fr. Peter Dubinin says

                MatushkaCarol – I for one would strongly encourage women to take their place on an ecclesiastical court; just as I would encourage their involvement in all facets of Church life and leadership. Your individual and collective education, knowledge and experience are essential to the good health and wellbeing of the Church of Jesus Christ; and yes I know, you didn’t need me to state the obvious.

                • George Michalopulos says

                  As would I. I just got back from the road and started thinking about all the Reverend Mothers out there. How terribly they have suffered at the hands of Syosset and the unmanly men of the various Synods (not just OCA).

                  • Matushka Carol is a sad figure who has carried a heavy cross since her former husband left her when he came out of the closet. Since then she has blamed Syosset for her tumultuous turn of life and lack of support directed toward her by the OCA. I am not sure what more the OCA could have done as an organization but I would suspect Matushka Carol could say more on that.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      That may or may not be, but I know of several priests’ wives and families who have been destroyed by the machinations of petty little men (some of whom are married btw).

                    • What? “…Her “FORMER” husband left here and came out?”
                      As far as I know, no one is ‘matushka-for-life.”
                      Why does she hang on to that sort of thing?

              • Are we talking about the Reverend Mothers of Arrakis?
                And again, “MatushkaCarol,” or ANYONE: Please! What does the following sentence MEAN?

                “”Let go of every strong tied to power playing countries outside the United States and make a clean sweep of the demons attacking from within and without.”

                It sounds drunken, frankly.

                • Your Grace, I don’t want to disrespect you but . . . this is a bit much. Does everyone require editing skills in order to have a voice?

                  • So, you couldn’t understand what that sentence meant either? Does that mean you have editing skills? There used to be mental institutions. There, as everywhere, everyone has a voice.
                    This is not about editing, Collette, so I won’t apologize to you in advance. Does “MatushkaCarol” have a husband, a live husband? Is he ordained? Or does he or she just like the sound of “matushka,” and can’t give it up?

                  • I want to apologize for asking anyone to interpret the sentence MatushkaCarol VOICED.
                    ““”Let go of every strong tied to power playing countries outside the United States and make a clean sweep of the demons attacking from within and without.”

                    What Does It Mean? Who cares if it’s grammatical correct or if the words are spelled correctly?

                    If I had “editing skills” I’d be able to re-arrange that sentence so it meant something, Colette.

                • oliver douglas says

                  Once again, is this any way for a bishop to behave? Or write or comment? What is going on here? Just stop now.

                • Dear Vladika,

                  Matushka Carol was clear to me. There was only one additional d in the sentence you had trouble with, btw.

                  There is no reason women should not be in our ecclesiastical courts. I personally suggest, for starters, Christine Fevronia, Matushka Carol, Melanie Jula Sakoda, and Cappy Lawson. We also have a large font of seminary trained women without Church jobs whose training could enhance the Church in that capacity.

                  Matushka Carol is right on the other issues as well. What a great resource for our Church she is!

              • Denis R--- says

                Calling all “matushki’, please stop writing this word in front of your names if you are the wife of a priest/deacon. It is not a title. Do you ever see priests signing their names as ‘batushka’?

                • Run out of things to complain about, have we?

                  • Yes, Denis R. And this woman is NOT married to a priest. She has no husband.
                    And “FYI”,,if you think Carol has “run out of things to complain about”you’ve got another think coming. There were two people, the mention of whom would threaten Vladyka Dmitri’s cool: Metropolitan Nicholas, and the former Mrs. Bacha.

      • anonymus per Scorilo says

        Obviously this comment did not cause his removal.

        No, but there is a very long track of egregious comments of this type from long before his removal.

        • George Michalopulos says

          Or so we are led to believe.

          • He said/She said…..

            Just give him his day to bring it all out in an ecclesiastical court, not civil court. Let his story be heard by his peers.

            Consider: if you were a priest – if you were vilified and removed of your possibility to serve The Lord’s Holy Communion – if there was no way provided back to your serving at The Table – would you be wounded? Would you at times even speak out against the injustice?

            I believe he is only asking to defend himself in a court of Orthodoxy. Let him.

    • Ken Miller says

      To be honest, the editorial is not about Fr Vasile or Metropolitan +Jonah, but rather about the dysfunctional way in which business has been done for decades in Syosset and among the bishops. I just happened that we have two independent primary sources that echo some of the same themes in terms of how business is done.

      To be sure, Fr Vasile’s case is very different from Metropolitan +Jonah’s, and I will grant you that. As for Fr Vasile’s invective against the bishops, which did not explicitly exclude Jonah at the time, I can also point you to recent documents in which Fr Vasile praises both Archbishop +Job and Metropolitan +Jonah, although acknowledging in frustration that neither one was strong enough to reform the system. In a sense, the parallel is more between +Job and +Jonah, because both did what they could to reform the system, though unsuccessfully.

      • Ken, thank you for your article, and thank you for your courage.

        Bishops are human beings, just like the laity. It is their office that demands respect–not their personalities, human addictions, and sinful natures. When the men appointed to fulfill the role of the office of bishop or archbishop have desecrated that office by their actions–then yes, their actions need to be judged by the appropriate authorities. So, what is the problem in the OCA? The appropriate authorities haven’t acted. Recently we saw Bishop Matthias put on a leave while an allegation of sexual misconduct was investigated. This is a great step in the right direction. However, does it not seem odd that more egregious behavior by other bishops has not been investigated?

        I have read comments here on Monomakhos that say no Christian should “judge their brother” because we are all sinners. That is absolutely true, and I concur wholeheartedly. Let’s recall the story of Jesus writing in the sand… When the men were ready to stone the harlot, Jesus wrote their SINS in the sand–not the names of the sinners. Hate the sin, but love the sinner. There is a difference between judging our brothers, and righteous indignation. It is a mighty fine line, though, and that is why I appreciate Ken’s beseeching of prayer.

        Intervention becomes necessary when an addiction has overtaken a person to the extent that they are blind to that addiction or problem, and cannot see their way out of their pattern of behavior. I think that the OCA is at the point of needing an intervention.

        • Ken Miller says

          Thanks, Nate. I think there is a difference between judging and holding accountable. Holding accountable is especially important for our leaders. Jesus did tell the woman caught in adultery “neither do I condemn you”, but continued “go and sin no more”. Christ never taught a doctrine of non-judgment that said it is ok for someone to persist in sin. It is sinful to have malice or hatred toward anyone. The goal of holding leaders accountable is not revenge, but rather reformation if possible, and in all cases protecting the flock from being harmed by carnally-minded leaders. There is not a bishop or member of Syosset that I would not embrace with wholehearted support if they were to publicly repent of their role in the corruption and show the fruits of repentance by working for transparency, humility, and fidelity to Orthodoxy faith, morality, and the canons.

          • Martin Paluch says

            Ken Miller,

            ” Recently, it was openly revealed by the Sons of Job that both Metropolitan Theodosius and Metropolitan Herman were practicing homosexuals. This was not by accident, but by design, because the puppet masters in the OCA have for decades kept their power by controlling morally compromised hierarchs. Metropolitan +Jonah was not morally compromised, and thus presented a problem for them. +Jonah continued his characterization of the homosexual problem in the OCA: “

            Since you wrote, “it was openly revealed” I must ask you, have you verified, as the Gospel requires of us, whether this revelation is true or false? What people have spoken to you within the Sons of Job party? Have you ascertained their claim of identity? Were they first party to the accusations? The answer seems to be apparently no! Had you followed some basic principles for establishing truth, and then provided us with real names you would thereby add some credence to this article. Why have you inserted the Sons of Job commentary, this piece of gossip, fraud, deceit and defamation in this article in the first place? What kind of a spirit is in you? For certain Christ own words “you are a whitewashed tomb” would apply most aptly.

            You also write: “I think there is a difference between judging and holding accountable. Holding accountable is especially important for our leaders. Jesus did tell the woman caught in adultery “neither do I condemn you”, but continued “go and sin no more”.

            Ken, you missed an important point; “The women was caught in adultery” quite the difference I must say between the words, caught and alleged or supposedly accused. That is why I am asking you for some evidence that can sustain your claim it was “openly revealed”. Going on an assumption proves nothing and so I am asking you for facts. Christ had the facts and acted rightly.

            I have been asking for facts for many months and not one person has been able to provide any evidence or proof to this claim that you so purposely and pridefully taunt.

            Now I ask you to ponder on this fact! On September 21, 2009 Archbishop Job came to visit Metropolitan Herman. I was on my way out approaching what used to be the Orphanage Building, I stopped and thought it is Archbishop Tikhon walking toward me, however to my surprise it was Archbishop Job. I stopped asked for his blessing and greeted him, he was shaking like a leaf. I asked, what is the matter? He said I have to see Metropolitan Herman. I first tried calling Metropolitan Herman and could not get an answer so I walked with Archbishop Job to see Metropolitan Herman. He asked how I was doing, I told him I am sickened by these false accusations against Metropolitan Herman. He stated; it was not supposed to go this far and it must end now! Upon entering Metropolitan Herman’s house, Archbishop Job begged him for forgiveness and asked if he could stay and talk for a while. They spoke for some time about the deterioration that has now engulfed the OCA.

            I later asked Metropolitan Herman if he had forgiven him in which he replied; Archbishop Job has asked me for forgiveness many times and I do not know but hope he has repented of all the sin that was tormenting him. I later asked Archbishop Tikhon if he knew that Archbishop Job visited with Metropolitan Herman, he replied yes.

            In your article you claim that “Until that happens, however, change can only come from the outside. Lawsuits are the only mechanism to hold the leadership accountable from the outside.”

            We have had several lawsuits hosted by the legal team of the OCA. Please name one wherein the OCA has successfully won? I am sorrowfully announcing that there is sure to come several more from those whose reputations have been assassinated and defamed by individuals bearing false witness. The authorities in the OCA will have to learn how to question the accuser in a most demanding way because this evil protected by free speech cannot supersede the requirements that Christ demands of each of its members as written in the Bible, testified by the Apostles and guarded by the past and must be protected by the present hierarchy in the Church or yes things will get worse.

            During the 90th Anniversary celebration of St. Nicholas Church in Mogadore, Ohio, I asked Archbishop Job what sin has Metropolitan Herman committed, what has he done wrong that has made you work against him. His reply was that “Metropolitan Herman had committed no sin but was in the wrong place at the wrong time” I asked him what he meant by that and he repeated the same thing. I received information that this same question was asked of Archbishop Job in the Midwest Diocese and they too received the same answer.

            I am challenging your interpretation and ask you to show us the original unedited signed testimony by Archbishop Job without the additions of your fallacious comments that in time will have to be defended by you. In that way, those of us who knew Archbishop Job better than most will be able write and speak about the real Archbishop Job.

            I cannot understand why George Michalopulos allows such unverified and false statements to be posted on his website. He must understand as you should that he too could be held responsible and could be subpoenaed for various information leading to the defamation of ones character.

            Yours in Christ,
            Martin Paluch

            • George Michalopulos says

              Fr Martin,

              You bring up several interesting points. I will state at present that I have made no accusation against you or Metropolitan Herman. I am sorry that such accusations were made and that my website was one of the venues for such. Unfortunately the public record cannot be suppressed forever. If the accusations made against you and His former Beatitude are false then I will gladly allow you the services of this site to correct the record.

              Please note however that this is not the only site in which these accusations were made. I very much believe in free speech and I also believe that if someone makes an accusation he will back it up. It has always been my policy to delete defamatory statements. You are entitled to your day in court. However you must be aware that should you choose to pursue legal recourse then those whom you name will be able to answer you and should they have documentary evidence and/or the testimony of many witnesses which can buttress their allegations, then all bets are off. Unlike previous ecclesiastical courts convened by the OCA, civil actions are more thorough and due process is followed. Neither is the discovery process short-circuited.

              • JamesMiller says

                Just a minor correction for the record. Martin Paluch is not now, nor has he ever been (at least not during the ca. 23 years since I’ve known him), in the ranks of the clergy. He wears a podriaznik at worship services and he attended STOTS, so I assume he has been tonsured a reader. But he has never functioned as a deacon or priest and therefore should not be addressed as “Father/Fr.”

            • Jane Rachel says

              Father Martin, I believe your eyewitness accounts and am hoping others will begin to realize that what really went on behind the scenes is not what the people were hoodwinked into believing. Yes, it is important.

              Your testimony here is not hearsay, but what we read here is what you saw with your own eyes and heard with your own ears. (Based on what others who knew what was going on behind the scenes have written, it seems Archbishop Job had a pattern of acting in the way you describe. This further confirms for me that what you are saying happened, really happened.)

              Archbishop Job begged forgiveness from fellow bishops more than once. Why? Why was he “shaking like a leaf” ? Was it fear? Why was he afraid? What wasn’t supposed to “go this far”? What was his part in it?

              You wrote:

              During the 90th Anniversary celebration of St. Nicholas Church in Mogadore, Ohio, I asked Archbishop Job what sin has Metropolitan Herman committed, what has he done wrong that has made you work against him. His reply was that “Metropolitan Herman had committed no sin but was in the wrong place at the wrong time” I asked him what he meant by that and he repeated the same thing. I received information that this same question was asked of Archbishop Job in the Midwest Diocese and they too received the same answer.

              Wow. These are Archbishop Job’s own words! And it’s not the first time we see Archbishop Job saying someone was “in the wrong place at the wrong time,” as I remember. Does this mean he could justify “working against” his brother in order to do damage control, or to protect himself? And if the priests in the Midwest Diocese heard him say that, they must have come to the conclusion that a person who “had committed no sin” was being taken down “because he was in the wrong place at the wrong time”! Christlike? No, of course not. Shouldn’t that knowledge make those Midwest priests disgusted with themselves for supporting their bishop so strongly and adoringly? Doesn’t that make them responsible in some way for what happened to Metropolitan Herman?

              Metropolitan Herman was not the only one to say he hoped Archbishop Job had “repented of all his sins” and was “tormented” in his soul. We can also read what Bishop Nikolai said about Archbishop Job to Father Joseph Fester in the emails and phone conversations stolen by Bishop Mark Maymon and published by Mark Stokoe.

            • oliver douglas says

              Be careful. Ever hear of the “Barbra Streisand effect?” The Streisand effect is the phenomenon whereby an attempt to hide or remove a piece of information has the unintended consequence of publicizing the information more widely, usually facilitated by the Internet. The term is a modern expression of the older phenomenon that banning or censoring something often makes that item or information more desirable, and leads to it being actively sought out to a greater extent than it would have otherwise been.

            • Heracleides says

              “In that way, those of us who knew Archbishop Job better than most will be able write and speak about the real Archbishop Job.”

              Knew as in the shaving-cream sense?

      • It’s interesting that even though the Vasile Susan case has never been settled, it has still cost the OCA lots of money. And who has paid for it? The OCA. Maybe that’s the main reason that Arb Nathanael hasn’t withdrawn the ROEA from the OCA. It’s not a bad gig, the Romanians give very little to Syssoet but their bishop has an equal vote.

        • justagoodoleboy says

          Should a topic at a AAC address a “fair” monetary support for the OCA by the Romanians? I haven’t heard how the Albanian or Bulgarian support is.

          I was outraged when I first heard how little the ROEA contributes to the OCA, it’s another shame

      • Basil Takach says

        I don’t have a horse in your race, but I have many friends and relatives who have long been a part of the OCA going back to its earliest days and the conversion of St. Alexis Toth and of St. Mary’s in Minneapolis and the establishment of your parish in East Buffalo, NY. My heart is truly torn by the division and enmity which seems so pervasive in the days leading up to your Sobor.

        I was thinking about how divided the Greek Archdiocese was only a few years ago. Out of nowhere, the Church sent a frail, soft-spoken Bishop to be its shepherd. Seemingly ready for retirement rather than to assume the helm of a much divided ship, Archbishop Demetrios brought faith of steel with a pastoral temperament which was firm, but full of love, Christian charity and a positive demeanor. While not all are happy with him, the reality is that most bitter and the deepest of the wounds have been healed and the Church has moved forward.

        What I make out of this is that perhaps your delegates need to look beyond the box, beyond your current bishops and monastics and perhaps, just perhaps to a mature man with a strong mind and a long history of PASTORAL work among the faithful. I don’t know your clergy well enough, but among yourselves you surely can think of a mature, even an ‘old’ priest – perhaps widowed , perhaps celibate – who fits that job description, has devoted a life’s work as a parish priest and perhaps a teacher to the Metropolia and /or the OCA and who is not tied into either the actions of the Synod nor those who are so passionate about the direction your Synod has followed.

        Your Metropolitan is out there – at this time only the Holy Spirit knows who he is – and your challenge is to pray, lay some of your preconceptions aside and work together to find him.

        • George Michalopulos says

          Wise words, Basil. The problem is not that there is a “Metropolitan…out there.” The question is: is their a canonical church out there? One which has an organic, canonical structure?

          This horrendous fracas has only shined the light of reality out there which shows that the OCA is structurally compromised. There are no clear lines of authority. The buck stops nowhere.

          The comparison with the GOA is inapt in many ways as it is not even semi-autonomous and every “metropolitan” reports dirctly to the Phanar. True, things are better in the GOA now under Demetrios than they were under the tumultuous reign of his immediate predecessor, but there is not way that an honest person can say that the GOA is building a bright path for Orthodoxy in America’s future. That day came and went with Ligonier and the visionary leadership of Iakovos which was cast to the wind.

          • Basil Takach says

            I was not so speaking one way or the other about the GOA as an institution, but rather how the Holy Spirit does work in ways unclear and not obvious to us. I certainly share your high opinion of the man who was probably the most accomplished and the finest of Orthodox Bishops who has served the church in North America – Archbishop Iakovos. Rather, I was thinking about how Archbishop Demetrios came out of ‘nowhere’ so to speak, a candidate no one really speculated would be the replacement of Archbishop Spiridon and how the initial reaction to his appointment was – at best – confused due to his age and slight physical stature. However – he was and is a healer within his jurisdiction and those relatively self-ruling churches under his Exarchate. Another example comes to mind in the story of Fr. Orestes Chornock – a prominent Greek Catholic priest from Bridgeport, Ct. – the largest Greek Catholic parish in the US in the 1920’s. He tried a moderate approach to persuade Rome and her Bishop – yes my pseudonym – to correct their path and to preserve the faith as they believed it had been promised in the Union of Uzhorord. He learned quickly that Rome took no prisoners and never backed down. Sound familiar? He continued to speak out at conferences of people who started out as loyal Greek Catholics only seeking a redress to their grievances. For his efforts he was removed as pastor, assigned to a tiny parish in rural Pennsylvania. At that point he stood his ground. Finally the break with Rome was inevitable. The delegates who sought change from Rome realized that only by returning to the Orthodox faith of their ancestors would they truly ever be able to preserve what was meaningful and true. Several prominent priests wanted to be Bishop, Fr. Chornock was married and not under discussion by the lay conference. Some months later the conference reconvened in 1937 – by then Fr. Orestes dear wife had passed away, leaving him a widower. By acclamation he was proposed as a candidate for Bishop to Archbishop Athenagoras, then the Greek exarch in New York. I won’t get into the history which resulted in the second wave of disaffected Greek Catholics not seeking refuge in the already existing Metropolia – that isn’t relevant to this discussion. My point is that sometimes things occur which seem beyond our ability to even imagine them. Bishop Orestes never envisioned himself as anything other than a parish priest – he was comfortable and most successful in that role. But God had a different plan. Passions within the so-called KOVO, the acronym for that little body of dissident and angry Greek Catholics ran as high and the rhetoric was as heated as may be seen on this very blog. But God had a different plan.

            So, with my little tale in mind, I would hope that folks in the OCA open their minds to other options within your own jurisdiction and pray with fervor and unceasingly that the upcoming Sobor may be infused with the power of the Holy Spirit and the protection of the Theotokos. Remember as you gather there that Christ is truly in our Midst and He will be present there – regardless of your passions. S’Bohom!

            • Harry Coin says

              A quibble — lots of folks thought of Demetrios, just not the ones ‘active in New York and Turkish affairs’.

              A second quibble, there are no self-ruling churches in an exarchate. At least not if ‘self ruling’ means what people are given to suppose by the usual meanings attached to the words.

    • Sean Richardson says

      When I read the Fr. Susan comments (and I do not know him nor all of the details of this situation) my first response was, there are other reasons besides standing up for what is right that a priest might be removed from his parish, including disobedience to his bishop. I was taught by my godmother, of blessed memory, that one should listen to and respect their bishop until such time as the bishop is canonically removed for wrong-doing. My second response was, why is he working at minimum wage? Are there no good jobs avaible for an educated man besides those at minimum wage? I honor and respect him for doing what is necessary to support his family in a most trying economic time, but there have been many clergy and ex-clergy who have found ways to do better and have done better than minimum wage.

    • anonymus per Scorilo

      I think if this were a civil arbitration, Fr. Vasili would seem too biased to be regarded as reasonable or factual. His use of ALL CAPS and often is kind of insulting too. We get the point, alright? Stop screaming in print. You don’t have to ram it down our throats.

      I also read most of his many-pages civil suit til I couldn’t take any more of it. The 10,000+ words say one thing, “I’m pissed.”

      Raving lunatic is kinda harsh, and everyone – no matter how eloquent he is or not, deserves his day in court – but he’s not done himself any favors by his browbeating approach. How you’d like to be the bishop of this firebrand – gay or not?

      Take for example this sentence, cut and pasted and repeated – ad nauseum – in the interview


      Is not evidence a statement of fact rather than a statement of emotion?

      But if Fr. Vasili had not punched his tar baby so many times it completely consumed him, would he still have a point (pre-punch that is)?

      I think yes. He does.

      I read carefully through the original source material on Pokrov. The thing that struck me was how everything Bishop Job said seemed to support exactly what Fr. Vasili wanted to hear, or rather, he wanted Bishop Job to say to him.

      Nevertheless, I read it through a second time and the written voice of Bishop Job in the transcript is distinct, pervasive and consistent throughout. It is authentic. It is not Fr. Vasili subbing as a ghost writer. It is not Fr. Vasili’s exclamatory way of expressing himself.

      But Bishop Job expressed something to Fr. Vasili about esprit de corps that I don’t think he gets.

      “I hope this conversation and meeting is very confidential, please. I do not want to get in trouble because of this honesty and outspokenness. I hope we are doing serious conversation.

      Was he saying ” I hope I can trust you. “ Or was he saying,” Get it out there on as soon as possible.” ?

      In this present document, we have a plaintiff offering evidence from a deceased bishop to support his viewpoint. But he is not here to verify. Did anyone else actually hear the original interview? Are there corroborating witnesses who have listened too? Is this a transcript of what was recorded? Further, did Bishop Job know he was being recorded and freely agree to it?

      The only way to really know if the transcript is authentic (Fr. Vasili transcribed it, yes?) is for Fr. Vasili to create a digital recording of the tape and send it to Pokrov as a podcast. Then all who listen to it can corroborate word for word with the transcript published on Pokrov.

      If the recorded tape and the transcript match up, well and good; but if not, it is not the best supporting evidence for the Guest Article: Dysfunction in the OCA.

      • George Michalopulos says

        To all: I know a very easy way to solve all this mess: either bring up Fr Vasile on charges in an ecclesiastical court or call such a court to hear his charges. And one more thing: observe due process. Let both parties have counsel and bring witnesses. Provide a transcript as well. If Fr Vasile wins, give him a parish assignment and back pay, if he loses then formally defrock him.

        I’ll tell you what this looks like. Back in 1997 or so, an unmarried priest at Holy Cross was accused of making a drunken homosexual pass at a young Arab seminarian. The young man punched the daylights out of the guy. A tribunal was called at HC made up of four priests. They found for the young man. Arb Spyridon for some reason allowed the accused priest to slip away to Greece and fired the four priests who tried him. This set in motion the whole unfortunate scandal that followed against Spyridon. Maybe it wasn’t fair but unhealthy questions were raised as to why he came to the aid of the alleged abuser in the first place.

        What is materially different in this case? A married priest, perhaps a little too volatile in his words, brings a serious accusation against a fellow priest to their respective bishop. Rather than conduct a hearing, the bishop immediately suspends the accuser and leaves him to dangle in the wind forever and a day. Meanwhile the accused escapes. Now the bishop is left to deal with the consequences.

        • anonymus per Scorilo says

          perhaps a little too volatile in his words

          Fr. Vasile had been insulting and defying Abp. Nathaniel for quite a while before 2004. I know this from people in his parish. Feel free to ask any Romanian from Chicago about what Fr. Vasile said and wrote in 2002 when Bp. Irineu was elected auxiliary bishop.

          Besides being too soft, I believe the other reason the Abp. did not do anything was because Fr. Vasile had copied all the files about the gay priest he investigated as a member of the church tribunal back in 1999, and was blackmailing with releasing the files (which he ultimately did – they are now on pokrov). If I am to speculate, it is also possible that he has other files, with more dirt, and he will not release them unless he is defrocked.

          Other priests in the Romanian Episcopate also made illegal copies of investigation material that they used to blackmail the Archbishop with. Some of the files of the late Fr. Casian Fetea were posted on pokrov by his brother, Adrian Fetea, after being defrocked.

          I believe Abp. Nathaniel should bite the bullet and defrock anybody who served in the church tribunal and made illegal copies of material from there, and clean the house.

          • George Michalopulos says

            Then Anonymous per Scurilo, if Fr Vasile is such a miscreant, then Arb Nathanael has a duty to formally defrock him. Such actions by Fr Vasile demand such as an act of moral hygiene. Otherwise his continued activities as an ordained presbyter are cause for scandal. The OCA has a duty to defrock him. The fact that they won’t leads me to suspect that Fr Vasile is more correct than not and that the hierarchy don’t want to give him his day in court.

            • Anonymus per Sorilo says

              then Arb Nathanael has a duty to formally defrock him. Such actions by Fr Vasile demand such as an act of moral hygiene. Otherwise his continued activities as an ordained presbyter are cause for scandal.

              I totally agree with you.

              The fact that they won’t leads me to suspect that Fr Vasile is more correct than not and that the hierarchy don’t want to give him his day in court.

              I think there are two possibilities:
              1. Murphy’s law applies: “Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.” Replace perhaps “stupidity” by “weakness” or “ineffectiveness”.

              2. Fr. Vasile has much more dirt in the files he illegally copied and they are trying to prevent him from getting it out. If they defrock him he will have nothing more to lose, and he will put it all out. The ex-Fr Adrian Fetea also put all the dirt in the files his brother copied on pokrov, but there is not too much there except a priest from the West coast with a DUI.

              All church tribunals have dirt to hide, at it may be that Abp. Nathaniel considers the harm done by releasing this dirt to be much greater than the harm done by not defrocking Fr. Vasile. At least for now.

              • George Michalopulos says

                Well then, didn’t you just prove my point? Towit: that the corruption in the Syosset/Synod Apparat is so deep and entrenched that there can never be a full accounting without powerful players being overthrown? Why, yes, I believe you just did.

        • What happened to the “violated” seminarian who took the Gospel in his own hands and, as Harry wrote, “punched the daylights out of the Priest?” How does this report match up with the report about Metropolitan Jonah’s treatment of the “rapist?” Did the number done on Spyridon provide a model for the number done on Jonah?
          And did Archbishop Spyridon, by sending the Priest back to Greece get the Priest’s agreement not to take the seminarian to court for assault and battery?

          • Peter A. Papoutsis says

            Exactly right. But nobody wants to hear the true about any of this. Metropolitan Jonah was a casualty of unfortunately a corrupt hierarchy that used the sacred cow of “Autocephalacy” to mobilize the groud troops against him.

            For example:

            Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Theological seminary along with the OCL/G.O.A.L. people are hardcore autocephalists and once the power base in the GOA saw that Archbishop Spyridon was not someone to control they took him out with False Sexual Allegations and a complete mobilization of the autocephalists against him. Once he was removed and power re-established in the hands of the Eparchal Council, Archbishop and the Phanar the usefull idiots (i.e. OCL/G.O.A.L./Autocephalists) were tossed to the side and discarted. The OCL has since ben only a former shadow of itself and recent events have shown it to be totally useless and corrupt.

            Take this model and placed it over Metropolitan Jonah and ITS THE EXACT SAME MODEL although cruelly executed by the OCA, but still effected. The OCA rank and file were mobilized against Met. Jonah once he started talking about “Maximum Autonomy” as a way to get him along with the false rape and sex scandals and again, a leader that could not be controlled and had a true vision for the Orthodox Church was removed and in the process disgraced.


            Foriegn Control as opposed to Autocephalist Control. Either way there is alwasy someone in control and it ain’t us boys and girls. Archbishop Spyridon recognized this and this is why he retired from public service to the Church, and I will bet you that Met. Jonah will do the same.

            Two young and vibrant hierarchs out and the fat, corrupt and blotted hierarchs stay in control with the tenticles of of their real rules, the moneyed interests, always in true control. From the Parish Level to the national level it is always the same.

            I wish I had better things to report.


          • oliver douglas says

            Dear Blessed Love BT,
            How’s it going with that in-the-field pastoral work?
            Heard any confessions lately?

            • Why, corporal Douglas! Yes, i have. if you want me to hear yours, you’re going to have to identify yourself. Do you live nearby?
              Giving thanks to Almighty God, the All-Holy Trinity, for everything,
              Bishop OCA retired

      • anonymus per Scorilo says

        Further, did Bishop Job know he was being recorded and freely agree to it?

        Of course he did, and so did Frs. Jillons and Tosi when Fr. Susan recorded their phone conversation 🙂

        ( )

        Do you really think that somebody who photocopies private investigation documents and uses them five years after to blackmail his bishop cares for such details ?

        • The words attributed to Archbishop Job are NOT his. That letter that Job’s Litter foisted on us as containing Job’s words is a fraud, and a gratuitous and unethical blackening of his name! Ask anyone who knew Archbishop Job personally if they recognize his language in those clumsy, stilted, broken phrases and other indications of being written by someone whose first and native language is NOT English. Archbishop Job aside from any other faults or good points spoke and wrote good English, for heaven’s sake, ‘anonymous!”
          That letter, far from helping Father Susan’s case merely gives his enemies more nourishment and ammunition, and reasons to disparage his case! Too bad for Father Susan!

          • Good Bishop, I think you may misunderstand. The document you reference is not a letter but notes taken by a third party (a lawyer or legal assistant of some kind) during a deposition. My own take on what I read was that this happened over time, probably orally and via email (although I do not know the laws and customs for this in the relevant state for this kind of pre-trial, discovery procedure, it at least mimics much of what one expects from a deposition), and the signature indicated no substantive disagreement with the content of the notes. I wouldn’t expect perfect accuracy in the word choice or punctuation of such a document. Depending on the legal status, it should be as close to word-for-word as possible, but only the meaning would really be important. Remember law offices charge by the minute. The signature indicated that it was good enough.

            Your skepticism is healthy. More information about the document would be helpful, but I don’t think you can discount it for the reasons you have given.

            • It looks like a letter which starts with a letter head and ends with signatures. Archbishop Job did NOT comment on the bylaws or statues of ANY Romanian Church organization or refer to them, let alone by initials. A deposition is never given by two people at once, as you must know. Any deposition given must be in the words, exact words of the person deposing to any facts.
              it’s FICTION,Um. It reads to me as if Father Susan sat down and wrote what he selectively perceived and hoped to be the sentiments of Archbishop Job, based on one or two sentences actually uttered by Archbishop Job favorable to his case. it remains my conviction that insofar as it purports to record utterances of Archbishop Job, it’s a fake.

            • Peter A. Papoutsis says

              Its a recorded transcription. I have seen these before and this is how they come outr because this how real people talk. When I take a deposition and then present the dep. transcript to my client afterwards they are completely shocked and surprised that this is how they talk. All I can say this transcript looks like previous transcribed transcripts I have seen in the past. Its look very accurate and common-place.

              Further, it also looks like it was attached as an exhibit to a pleading or motion. If that is the case, espaciall here in Illinois, if we attach an exhibit to a pleading or motion that is the basis of a claim or defense and that information turns out to be false and we knew it was false and/or fraudulent then we get hit with sanctions under Illinois Supreme Court Rule 137.

              So it looks accurate and was an attached Exhibit and if an attorney attached this Exhibit of an accurate or substantially accurate recorded transcription and determined it was accurate after doing a reasonble inquiry into its accuracy then its accurate otherwise that attorney opens himself and his client up to substantial sanctions under Rule 137. If there were NO sanctions issued then it is prima facie authentic and accurate.


              • Peter A. Papoutsis! You spoke of a CLIENT, iow, the person recorded, who is “surprised that this is how they talk.” I am not the client who was recorded; in fact, I am, on the contrary, a person who is very very familiar with how Archbishop Job SOUNDED to others, including me. Those bold-faced sections attributed to Archbishop Job could not possibly be his. Produce the tapes, the recording. You can’t and neither can Job’s brood. You gave us a lot of “ifs”. We need more facts, and fewer ifs. I agree with much of what you have posted here, but this pleading on behalf of what to me, going by the sections purporting to be a record of the speech of Archbishop Job is to me unacceptable without REAL evidence, rather than inductive syllogisms which may not apply at all.
                In my opinion, the words attributed to Archbishop Job are true to the style of Father Susan’s writings!

                • Fr. George Washburn says

                  I’m with Bishop Tikhon here, and firmly in disagreement with Mr. Papoutsis.

                  He is of course far better versed than I in how deponents talk in Illinois. I have never reviewed a deposition taken there let alone taken one, and he has been licensed to practice in Illinois since 1997. But of the HUNDREDs I have participated in since 1979, all but one in California, I can say that not one sounded like this, with the possible exception of some of the answers in one involving a non-native English speaker witness from Italy. And Abp. Job was a native English speaker.

                  And the voice and syntax which we seem to see in the questions is not that different if at all from what we see in the answers, and to me shows quite a few signs of non-American syntax.

                  I can agree with this much of Mr. Papoutsis’ message: I hope and doubt that the document was a completely invented fiction. I think it must have been based at least a little bit on what Abp Job said to him somewhere at some point. I sure hope so. But where, when, how much? And in what way was this document produced? Boy do I wonder!

                  Looking at the Q & A format raises VERY significant questions, as do other aspects of the document.

                  For example the questions do not sound one bit like those of a seasoned lawyer, and the lawyer for Fr. Vasile in the litigation was in fact experienced according to what I have been told. The questions do resemble very much in format the many writings and challenges to authority of Fr. Vasile.

                  And Mr. Papoutsis please tell us – when are transcripts in Illinois court proceedings ever signed by both parties like this – but not under oath?

                  And where in Illinois is it the custom for a deposition transcript to be produced in letter format?

                  And where in Illinois is it the fashion for depositions to be taken without any reference at all to representation of counsel? The OCA was represented at all stages by competent and experienced counsel. There is no sign in this document of any lawyer being involved …. for either side.

                  No competent lawyer would dare let a witness of Abp Job’s stature have his deposition taken in a matter of this significance without having experienced counsel present. No lawyer of any experience would allow questions like the ones in this document without significant objections being interposed, and perhaps an instruction not to answer them as phrased. Nowhere is there a single objection or request for clarification or definition of ambiguous terms.

                  I asked one of the defense lawyers in the case whether this document had ever surfaced in the case as a “transcript” of Abp. Job’s alleged statements, and he said it had not. Wouldn’t it be odd for such a helpful document to exist, but never be produced in the case by Fr. Susan? What does Mr. Papoutsis claim to know about the case that one of the attorneys of record never saw?

                  And where in Illinois is it the custom for a deposition transcript to be produced by one of the very parties to the case, and not by a neutral, certified shorthand reporter? And if it was produced by a reporter, why do we not see any reference to the reporter on the supposed transcript?

                  Why does the type face or style of the entire last page where we see the signatures appear so different from the previous pages? It invites speculation that it was produced at a different time, and the case for its authenticity is not helped by the fax date stamp at the bottom of that last page – a few months after His Eminence’s death. He could have signed it before death, and given it to Fr. Vasile, but it invites a lot of critical scrutiny. The signature bears no date.

                  And does the purported signature of Abp Job look like it is really on the line, or of the same clarity, quality and texture as Fr. Vasile’s? Not to me.

                  His firm’s website mentions the many cases and jury trials successfully handled by Mr. Papoutsis since 1997. If he can produce from a single one of them, just one, an accurate deposition transcript that omits all reference to certified shorthand reporters and lawyers, is produced in letter format by one of the parties, and is not given or signed on its face under oath, I WILL EAT MY HAT. And not just a Cubs hat either, folks. A World Champion SF Giants hat!

                  I do not know what Fr.Vasile claimed to be doing with this document. where he says it comes from or …. But it is so completely out of the ordinary compared to the transcripts usually seen in legal matters – but so like the kind of thing that one side might prepare for its own purposes, especially outside the formalities of regular court procedure, and so very like the other documents that we can see Fr. Vasile has produced and posted at pokrov – that I cannot accept it as a verbatim record of an actual exchange between Fr. Susan and the late Archbishop without VASTLY more than we have at our disposal here. *Vastly!*


                  Fr. George

  3. Dear Ken,

    Thank you for an incredibly well written and well-thought out article. Thank you especially for bringing up the speech of Metropolitan Jonah which I am reading for the first time. I don’t remember it being on or hearing it in one of the broadcasts of Metropolitan on internet radio or the Youtube. I stopped reading the ocanews and ocatruth at some point, and I think others did as well, so making this speech of Metropolitan Jonah known is highly important today. How clear it is! And how brave.

    I have read the Pokrov website from its beginning, maybe not every document, but the major stuff. Thus, I was struck at the time and am struck now how brave Bishop Job was in private, writing correspondence he thought would be kept private, and how silent in public, as he did not speak up to the fellow members of his Synod on behalf of Father Vasile Susan to our knowledge, nor in public at all Did he even speak to Metropolitan Jonah about Father Susan’s case?

    Silence is complicity

  4. Priest Justin Frederick says

    We cannot live by lies, nor can we live in a Potemkin village. Are we Orthodox Christians to be content with ‘having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof/? May the Lord grant us all true repentance before it is too late and HIs judgment comes. “But if the salt has lost its savor, it is good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot of men.”

    • Carl Kraeff says

      Father bless.

      Dear Father Justin–Is it all possible for you to refrain from stirring the pot any further? As a fellow member of the Diocese of the South, I have been reading your postings on this site with dismay. Please, please take my criticism in the spirit that it is offered–that is, in love and respect. Kissing your right hand, Carl

      • MatushkaCarol says

        Stir the Pot
        Stir the Pot
        Old Father George we Stir the Pot
        Sometimes dance,
        Sometimes, sing,
        Sometimes we serve spagetti on a wing!

        Written by clergy children to emulate and continue the work of Chancellor George Gladky (+1989) in doing the work of missions within the Diocese of the South OCA.

      • Priest Justin Frederick says

        Dear Carl, May the blessing of the Lord be upon you! Our world is full of things that cause me dismay daily: bad politics, bad elections, bad storms, bad foreign policy, bad economics, bad laws, and a growing police state fostered by both parties–to name a few–not to mention many dismay-rousing words and actions in the Church, especially since February 2011 ( but there were plenty before then). Forgive me if my words are a cause of dismay to you. No doubt I fail to find a better way forward out of dismay in my sinfulness, and I am in need of your prayers. But If my words are all that dismay you, I think you are truly blessed indeed! Honestly, I’m not interested in stirring the pot. I’d like to see it taken out and emptied where it belongs. It has caused all too many of us far too much dismay and distraction from the mission of the Church already. Peace to you!

    • Mark from the DOS says

      Fr. Justin –

      May you be abundanly blessed and protected for having the courage to speak when others remain silent out of fear of reprisal. May the Lord grant us all true repentance, indeed. And when the truth shall out, let those who hid it, through action or inaction, stand to account.

      Praying for you and your family,

  5. Wow, it seems like the Sons of Job and this website are truly run by the devil, I grew up in Eastern PA and knew Joseph Swaiko and Frank Lazor and still do, “practicing homosexuals” are you kidding me, These people dont even have any business stepping foot in a church. They might go up in smoke. These people truly want to destroy the church and divide the faithful, if anyone believes this crap, I pray for them, Both Metropolitans are God-fearing and faithful men. Ive known them their whole lives and even worked for Abp Kiprian back in the day. This site and the few people who actually contribute to it are not christians at all, this is a shame. I hope this site soon closes too.

    • Ken Miller says

      I don’t have direct knowledge about their sexual orientation, but allegations that they were homosexual can be found on the Internet that pre-dated the allegation by the Sons of Job. I remember there was even a reference to “blackmail” about sexual sins mentioned in the reports associated with the removal of Metropolitan +Herman. As to the accuracy of the allegations, I will leave it to others to hash out. Whether or not one believes those allegations, the main points in the editorial do not stand or fall based on the sexual orientation of those two men. It is widely acknowledged by insiders that they were morally compromised, but it is more rare for the nature of those compromises to be stated explicitly. I have heard from several individuals who have been around the OCA for decades, and one thing I know for sure is that they saw +Theodosius drunk on many occasions. Spiritual leadership has definitely been lacking in the OCA, with some notable exceptions such as +Jonah, who not only was not morally compromised, but also has a great spiritual vision.

      • Bruce Wm. Trakas says

        Remember the “Professional Men’s Club” and the parties paid for with OCA funds at one of the New York Marriott Hotel’s described in the ’08 SIC Report? “NJ” you’ve got to be kidding.

      • Ken Miller! You wrote: ” I have heard from several individuals who have been around the OCA for decades, and one thing I know for sure is that they saw +Theodosius drunk on many occasions.” Ken, I don’t deny that, and I don’t know anyone who has done. After Bishop Benjamin was arrested for dui and tossed in the drunk tank, I called Protopresbyter Rodion S. Kondratick and asked him to recommend a treatment center for alcoholics. He recommended a famous such center, Roman Catholic, where Metropolitan Theodosius and Mrs.Paul Kucynda’s wife, the latter notoriously and blatantly alcoholic, had gone for a course of therapy. I checked with Bishop Nikolai, next, because he is a professional in the field of dependency therapies. He said the place had a great reputation: it was possibly the 2nd best in the whole country. So I told Benjamin to go there, and he did. There were other OCA clergy KNOWN to have a heavy drinking problem and, sadly, many of them, UNLIKE Metropolitan Theodosius, did not go for treatment. Think of ever-Memorable Archbishop Job, who began having alcoholic blackouts from almost the first days of his episcopacy in New England and finally led to his candidacy for a transfer from there! Archbishop Benjamin is certainly NOT the only member of today’s OCA Holy Synod with an alcoholic record. I believe if you ask around the same instances that reported seeing Theodosius drunk will confirm that another ordained member of the S.I.C. has likewise been seen thus.
        Unfortunately for him, Protopresbyter Rodion S. Kondratick and his wonderful wife, Bette always acted like loving parents, nurses and nursemaids to these instances, especially Metropolitan Theodosius (also the obvious favorite of Father Alexander Schmeman) and Bishop Job. Of course, you will say, their “job” was not to act like loving parents, but to be transparent (about the sins of others) and accountable to the Orthodox public.
        Well, you know what they say: “Lend a dollar: lose a friend!”
        I’ll be glad to certify that Protopresbyter handed out hundreds, thousands of dollars to clergy and their wives and families over the years, immediately and without following procedures that would insure these donations were in financial reports and reported to the Metropolitan Soviet and “The Orthodox Church.” And the purposes of the GOSPEL were fulfilled in most of those gifts, even if the ones “who had charge of the bag” disapproved!!!

        • oliver douglas says

          Is this any way for a bishop to converse, in public or in private? What is going on here? Disclosing names of people who have not inserted themselves into this “discussion?” Instead of sitting by the computer, waiting for an opportunity to harm someone, go visit the people in a prison or a nursing home. ENOUGH.

          • Gailina Sheppard says

            These “names” have surfaced on many occasions and those who regularly read this blog know that Bishop Tikhon’s sole intent is to set the record straight about Protopresbyter Rodion S. Kondratick and Bishop Nikolai Soriach. If he just wanted to “harm” people, he could have done that years ago; he certainly had the ammunition. If you’re wise, you’ll pay attention to what he’s saying, regardless of what you think of his delivery.

            • oliver douglas says

              The record is quite clear. Two guys who should have been indicted. (Has the statute of limitations run yet? I’ll bet it hasn’t for a conspiracy.) As for having the ability for harming people, he should watch out. Not everyone is impressed by the honorific “vladika.” “Vladika” could find himself at the business end of a lawsuit, at best. What a stand up guy he is.

              • Hey, Oliver! It’s a free country. If you think you’ve got grounds for a lawsuit, bring it on! If you think “two guys” should have been indicted, go seek out the police force and district attorney that have jurisdiction over the ‘two guys” you mentioned. You know what? Metropolitan Theodosius, Metropolitan Herman, and Protopresbyter Rodion S. Kondratick ALL have squeaky clean records in law enforcement, both local and federal, and in tax matters.
                if you think Metropolitan Theodosius EVER was blackmailed, where’s the testimony and/or evidence? I think it’s downright foolish to listen to guesses and suppositions and treat them like acquired KNOWLEDGE. Here’s a good saying, Oliver: “where there’s smoke, there’s toast!”
                You know what else, Oliver?. I’m not impressed by being called “vladyka”. It’s not official and if you had a dime and the waiter heard someone call you that, maybe you couldn’t eve get a cup of coffee! As for my being a stand-up guy, I’m not the judge of that, but I am by far not ashamed of not only my service in Christ’s Church and my record in the Diocese of the West, neither am I ashamed of my service as an enlisted many in the U.S. Army nor as an officer in the U.S. Air Force. Do YOU consider yourself a ‘stand-up guy?” I won’t go down to that level and say you are almost good at stand-up comedy, but I’m tempted…

              • OccidentalGuido (Guy Westover) says

                Mr Douglas, the term Vladyka is really more a term of loving respect. Almost informal in many Slavic traditions. Your Grace, Master being the more formal. At least this is how I was raised.

                I am sure that most bishops know that when a layman or cleric refers to them as Vladyka– or when when addressing them directly Vladyko that it is more a term of loving respect than an honorific title. The same goes when addressing a somewhat more experienced priest as Batushka, an old Russian term for Father.

                I too was very harsh with Bishop Tikhon assuming he was nothing but a mean grumpy old bishop with an axe to grind. I even attempted to “call him out”. He admonished me, put me in place as it were. Then someone I know well and respect wrote to me and told me of their experiences with him. I have come to accept that when he signs something “Love BT” he truly means it in a charitable way, even if his statement was harsh or snarky.

                • oliver douglas says

                  Yeah, we all have good “intentions.” We all “mean well.” Just like Bishop Matthias.

                • oliver douglas says

                  IRS Form 3949 A is on its way.

                • oliver douglas says

                  Sorry-I disagree-vigorously. Your initial impression was correct.

                  • OccidentalGuido (Guy Westover) says

                    HA HA HA.
                    Sorry. You replied to yourself twice. I didn’t want to leave you hanging, so I did the charitable thing and laughed at your attempt at humor. I know how it feels to bomb.

        • Light reveals the truth says

          What you describe–handing out hundreds and thousands of dollars in such a way that it stayed off the record–is enabling! And enabling not from his own, private money as a personal charity apparently, but from misdirected OCA funds. And, if memory serves me, it wasn’t so much hundreds as it was thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars of OCA funds that went astray (some, evidently, in enabling on a very grand scale, to keep the elephant invisible in our OCA living room). And if memory serves me right in this regard also, the investigation into corruption and financial malfeasance uncovered the fact that monies specifically collected to go to actual victims, of natural disasters, the terrorist attack, being orphaned, etc., did not go to them.

          One cannot ignore one’s mandate to have compassion for those who are addicted, or deluded. But covering their problems for/with them is not the tough love that heals them and it borders on participating in sin since keeping it covered harms not only the addicted and deluded but their family, which in the case of the leadership of the OCA is all of the faithful, those whom the leadership was elevated to serve in a manner well-enunciated in Holy Scripture and in the very charter of the OCA.

          It’s been said elsewhere a few times–insisting on accountability is not the same as passing judgment. It actually is taking the step that makes it more likely that amendment and repentance can follow, for the healing of the soul and the souls of others who are affected. If we say that our affection for those we like and love is what causes us to enable them in the commission of serious, destructive behavior for themselves and others we are also deluded, for real love wants what is best for the beloved. As Orthodox Christians we know that what is good and true is that which can be done in the light, and that whatever must be done in the dark and kept covered is the antithesis of Goodness and Truth.

      • KEN MILLER! Eye-witnesses of Metropolitan Theodosius’s occasional drunkenness? Sure. THIS may be true: ” I have heard from several individuals who have been around the OCA for decades, and one thing I know for sure is that they saw +Theodosius drunk on many occasions.” If you’ve been around, then you might (or probably) have heard the same things about, oh, Bishop Melchizedek; Archbishop Job, Archpriest John Tkachuk….hey, this is a LONG list.
        I hope, by the way, that some day an honest researcher will read the SIC report and ask himself WHY they limited their survey of sins to a period beginning in 1989…A study should be made while some witnesses are still alive, of the financial stewardship of the previous
        Chancellors, Fathers Hubiak, and Pishtey. It’s my conviction that such a survey will prove that Protopresbyter Rodion S. Kondratick introduced an UNPRECEDENTED element of accountability into the administration of the Metropolia/OCA. Absolutely UNPRECEDENTED!

    • Because of his well-known homosexuality, Metropolitan THEODOSIUS had a nickname among senate aides in Washington DC: “Twinkle Toes.” Metropolitan HERMAN admitted, officially in the SIC, that Kondratick had homosexual “dirt” on him which could be used as blackmail. The SIC report also refers to Marriot Hotel homosexual parties in Manhattan (testified to but never proven). Archbishop JOB’s direct admission that bishops on our Synod are covering up homosexual priests is true. As was put four years ago, “The fuel which keeps us spiraling downward is our family “secrets.”

      • Archpriest John W. Morris says

        I cannot believe that the claim that Metropolitan Theodosius is a practicing homosexual can be true.
        If it is true that he was a practicing homosexual did the Holy Synod of the OCA know he was a homosexual when they elected him their Metropolitan? If they did not, but found out after he was elected, why did they not remove him for violating the moral teachings of our Church?

      • Name ONE of those Senate aides (“Senate aide” covers a lot of different kinds of people, some employed and some not). Please point us to the evidence that ANY Senate aide used the nickname “twinkle-toes” with reference to Metropolitan Theodosius. This sounds like a really warped-by-time distortion of any early piece of gossip that appeared on an internet list in the 1980s, which alleged that His Beatitude visited gay bars.A character called “Rostislav,” a known List-kook, alleged that His Beatitude was known as “Twinkle-toes” in some Phoenix, Arizona bar. Metropolitan Theodosius was never fat—“twinkle-toes” is usually sarcastically applied to fat and/or clumsy people…especially people who can’t dance. Actually, nicknames like ‘ThisBoy” or “ThatBoy” sound much more homosexual, no?

      • ChristineFevronia says

        Direct quote from the 2008 SIC report:

        Several interviewees claimed that a significant source of Kondratick’s apparent power over members of the HS and other clergy was his knowledge of their alleged personal moral failings, specifically with chemical addictions and sexual improprieties. The SIC, charged with determining the scope of financial misdeeds, focused its attention on whether OCA funds in any way were involved with such allegations… Interviewees also reported that cash from OCA accounts was used by Kondratick to “pay off someone who was allegedly blackmailing +MT. Since reportedly cash was used, there was no way trace the transaction, if it in fact took place. At least three sources informed the SIC that both +MT and +MH affirmed that Kondratick had blackmailable material of a sexual nature about each of them. (From the 2008 SIC, quoted from “Personal Moral Failings”,

        • “his knowledge (KNOWLEDGE) of their alleged personal moral failings.”

          And how did the SIC or the Church proceed to DEAL with the known moral failings of those indivifduals? What are their names? Where’s the accountability? Where’s the transparency?
          WHO had those chemical addictions? Who had those sexual improprieties? Were morally compromised individuals actually COMPELLED by the SIC to give tes5imony against RSK….OR ELSE?
          Let’s try and guess. Were any of those “several interviewees” Mark Stokoe? Archbishop Job? Bishop Mark (Forsberg)? Bishop Seraphim (Storheim)? Archimandrite Zacchaeus (Wood)?

          • ChristineFevronia says

            Excellent questions, Your Grace. Have you ever received answers for them?

            It is also curious to me that this report alleges these intensely serious things (“chemical addictions”, “sexual improprieties”), and then neglects to conduct a secondary follow-up investigation into those allegations. They write that the SIC focused its attention on the money trail. However, after including such allegations in their report–knowing it would be widely read and commented on–there appears to be little evidence that they followed up on investigating these other serious allegations. (And I also wonder about who the witnesses were, too.)

            Doubly curious is the fact that the OCA settled with Kondratick for $250,000. Sure, a settlement doesn’t imply an admission of wrongdoing or even liability, but if the OCA’s case was solid, why did they pay Kondratick quarter of a million dollars?

            “There is something rotten in the kingdom…”

            • Christine,

              The OCA case vs. the Kondraticks was fueled by hate and a desire for vengeance. Between the Proskure Rose “report” (never in writing, only an oral report because PR didn’t want to get sued) and the attorney fees spent to fight the Kondraticks and the payout, the wise and vaulted leaders of the OCA spent nearly $1 million in their failed attempt to renege on a legal and binding contract between the OCA and the Kondraticks for spending their own money (Kondraticks) to upgrade the home they lived in but belonged to the OCA. The added value put into the home by RSK was value the OCA benefitted from when the eventually sold the property. It was a simple business deal but the OCA wanted to punish the Kondraticks. The bottom-line, we all paid for the stupid moves of the MC at that time.

              A bit more background: the OCA said there was no written contract. When that written contract was produced by the Kondraticks the judge in the case said to the OCA, “you better settle because you don’t have a case.” It took many more months and more legal fees spent by the OCA before they realized their case was a loser.

              Truth be told, the Kondraticks would have settled for $125K walking away from the deferred interest payments in the original contract, but no, the OCA wanted to teach the Kondraticks a lesson. Well, they were playing with our assessment money, not their own. This cost the OCA an amount of money that did not have to be spent showing an abysmal sense of their own bad stewardship. This was driven by then MC members, Stokoe, Nescott, Reeves, Skordinski, Solodow, and of course +Benjamin and +Nathaniel, +Job and Wheeler.

              This is this same mean-spirited revengeful attitude that still afflicts the OCA in how they disposed of +Jonah. The OCA now has a lawyer, Wojick, on retainer for over $120K per year. In the bad old days of the “corrupt” Kondratick administration, the OCA never spent more than 1/10th of that in one year for legal fees and the OCA received much better and more professional advice than what they are getting now from a lawyer who credentials would never have gotten him hired by Vecchi and Russin law firm in DC which represented the OCA.

              So the beat goes on. The OCA tries to dig itself out of the hole but appear to only dig itself into an even deeper one. I don’t think we are dealing with very bright individuals.

            • Yes, ChristineFebronia! Metropolitan Theodosius was very, very, very seldom in Washington DC and environs. How in the world ANY senate “aides” would have even heard of him is a total and improbable mystery! And how many of the “three sources” were themselves MEMBERS of the SIC?
              Was one of those sexual improprieties by “a source” the predilection for groping attractive women coming to confession? Look what happened to an Antiochian bishop who tipsily brushed up against a barfly!
              Worse has been done in the OCA with impunity? Oh well, it’s who you know, right?

    • justagoodoleboy says


      Since you won’t listen to the reports of others, why don’t you ask each of them for the truth.

  6. Fr. George Washburn says

    Hello friends:

    A couple of weeks ago when Fr. Susan’s name came up i followed the link on pokrov’s site and viewed the docket for the Cook County Chancery Court. It appeared to me that the case went to trial last year and resulted in a ruling against Fr. Susan. It is on appeal, I think, but unless Illinois law is very different from other states, the appellant’s chances are poor. Anyone else done more homework than I have and got a better handle on the actualities?

    I agree that bishops and church courts need to operate justly. Several questions arise in my mind re this one:

    – the age of the case – 7 or more years old. Can the OCA go forward amidst the wholesale disinterment of old bones, and the tides of negativity and acrimony sure to wash back and forth in an Eastern Church that suddenly chooses to revolve around the westernized law/detection/prosecution/punishment courtroom-drama model?
    – the great difficulty of ever proving to any reasonably high standard of sureness, which surely would be required in the case of a charge against a bishop, that the Susan suspension resulted from the complaint against the active homosexual. Short of an authenticated tape recording or a signed confession how could you ever prove it? And if you can’t prove it, why go to all the expense and negativity of bringing or trying the charge?
    – the tone and content of Fr. Susan’s writings are bothersome, reminding me on the one hand of sincere people I have encountered who were determined to obtain justice at all costs, and on the other hand of the obsessed minds and writings of people who the courts here in CA call vexatious litigants ….and punish. It may be that he lost the Chicago case on a legal technicality; I would not be surprised. Civil courts hate church cases. It may also be, however, that the judge found his testimony unbelievable, in which case church charges based essentially on his testimony might be real shaky too. I am only pointing out the possible problem here. He may be in the right for all I know, but I see some signs that make me wonder, especially since he seems to be in use here as Exhibit A or B in a course of action I think will have many bad consequences if its proponents keep on this way.

    In an earlier post today on the thread about why the bishops supposedly can’t vote in Ohio, a pseudonymous JoseCuervo (I would have rather heard from Absolut or CaliforniaCab, but I don’t mean to quibble) gave us a nice overview of some canons that might be relevant. I seem to recall a couple of them saying that if a bishop’s accuser has “troubled the Emperor’s ears” or gone to secular courts with his accusations, then he should be disregarded by the Church. What do our canon-invokers say about that? Give Fr. Susan an exemption from that canon because …..?

    Those canons all seemed to rest on the assumption that anonymous accusations would not be countenanced. The accuser had to stand up by name and be examined for character and veracity. (I get it that people who step up by name with accusations run a giant risk, and I am not sure I would have the courage to do so even if I thought it was the way to go.) Do the anonymous accusers here grant themselves an exemption from that one?

    And none of the canons cited stand for the proposition that a bishop must recuse himself or be recused by higher authority from doing his duties just because someone, even an anonymous someone, made a charge.

    I empathize with the dilemma faced by the constituency in the OCA that is trying to stand up for honor and authenticity. But I sense in several regards that their high moral aspirations are not tempered with nearly enough realism about what effect a witch, I mean bishop, hunt always has on the hunters, the hunted, and the community of interest in which the hunt is conducted. Or about the difficulties and expenses of conducting it.

    You “Sons of” are flushed with the ardor of Divine Calling. So were the Puritans and Independents of 17th C England. They got the Civil War and all its sad consequences for their troubles. Historian John Buchan, writing about the times in his biography of the great Montrose described the zealot Puritans as a dangerous influence in society because of their “severe abstraction.” By that he seemed to mean that they were so strong and uncompromising in their commitment to this one ideal – and the corrupters to whom they were reacting were often indeed pretty corrupt – that they ignored all the negative consequences that were sure to flow from their pursuits.

    But hey, if God tells you to do it then the collateral damage is His problem isn’t it? Unless perhaps we imagine God having come to earth as a man and taught his followers to be very cautious indeed about rushing into fields of growing wheat for the purpose of plucking out tares.

    love, and small apologies to the thumbs down voters on my messages here,

    Fr. George

    • JoseCuervo says

      Bless, Father. I am sorry to disappoint your taste in distilled spirits. Honestly, I prefer the local, small batch distillery, but where is the humor (or scandal) in that? 🙂 I agree with you, after having read some of the Canons and quoted them recently (in comments under the “Sons of Job: The Canons Prohibit the Bishops from Voting at Parma” article), that it is of utmost importance that any accusers eventually come out in the open and are thoroughly vetted before they approach the synods or the civil courts. There is no way I can ever do that personally since I have no direct or even second-hand knowledge of these affairs. I hope my post was not particularly accusative, but rather supporting those who can actually make appropriate accusations if there are grounds for them. There are some who seem to claim that it is unorthodox to challenge or critique the bishops in any gross sins. The Canons I read seem to indicate that that is not always the case. However, much caution is needed. Much evidence is needed. Much help (from other jurisdictions) is needed. There is a proper procedure to follow, and that surely includes divulging one’s identity and allowing a vetting process to occur before troubling the synods.

      I expect there are some among these accusers who are willing to do that. Perhaps they are waiting for what they see as the best time. If they are priests, they are surely thinking of their families and parishes and fear the repercussions on them for going public. If they are correct, other priests have been canned for doing this in the OCA. If there are really people with first hand knowledge who can make a viable accusation, let’s pray that they have the courage to eventually do so and that God will speed their way. Let’s hope that there are no viable accusations to be made and that the bishops we have are upright in every manner. But if their are any corrupt and wholly self-serving among them, let’s pray that those with first hand proof of this have the courage to bring it publicly before the Church so that this grave issue can be properly addressed.

    • So the Son’s of Job (who are three times as many as when we started by the way) are puritans.

      We repeated accusation in the public record of people who have recently proven to be named in a EEOC investigation and provided primary documents to back up our story. We have proven that the Metropolitan Jonah rape coverup was completely fabricated by the synod and helpers, we have proven that B. Matthias saying that he denied the charges against him was a lie that would have hurt the victim again. We have much more to come. You know nothing about the collateral damage that we have been living with. That is truly an ignorant comment. It is precisely the collateral damage that provoked us.

      Amazing that those Bishops with an actual divine calling can be lawless and you comment not on them. That is what we called , having blinders on. Yet those who would speak against these injustices are the problem? Call us what you may. Puritans and abstractionist we are. Sir we would see Jesus when we look upon our Bishops instead they show us the world and their flesh and that defines the Holy Church downward.

      By the way the Son of Job that was doing the canonical research is under water in NY. You are again wrong about the canons and we will show that also. Many, many, many words and never a solution…… wow it is a very practiced art form. The Bishops started this public thing with their letter of lies, the difference is that we have spoken the truth… I am sure that is way to black and white for you but after all we are “puritans” Isn’t that what has been implied of Jonah and his remarks in Santa Fe?

      • Ivan Vasililev says

        3x=y. Solve for x. We need more information about x. Are there two of you, ten, fifty?

      • The Bishops at least do not hide their identities. Who are you, “job”? You have repeated much of what has been proved BY OTHERS already, some of them posting here. You say we know nothing of the “collateral damage that we have been living with.”
        WHAT COLLATERAL damage? Prove it! All you’ve done, except in the case of Fr. Susan, is re-hash what others have reported here using their own names. What POSSIBLE damage could anonymous faces suffer?

        By the way, ALL the Bishops have ‘an actual divine calling.” They were ALL called by the Church. They were all elevated, through the laying-on-of-hands, by the Holy Spirit. job! You miss the point entirely! It is when Bishops do not obey, do not live up to their Only Real Divine Calling, that they are malfeasant.
        WHO has not commented on the Bishops (“..and you comment not on them”)?

        You do not help the case of Metropolitan Jonah or anyone else when you set up these straw men to demolish with invective. And, I must say, I find the last sentence of your third paragraph to be disgustingly maudlin and melodramatic, almost a kind of verbal self-stimulation! “Sir we would see Jesus!”
        You’re not looking in the right direction, job, why are you blaming others for your lack of vision?

        George is trying to do something worthwhile here and help in correcting injustices. Your partisanship is the kind that defeats itself because it’s so careless and emotionally self-centered. Unfortunately, the worst elements in the Church will use your sort of “contributions” to show that Monomakhos is worthless. You’re drowning responsible voices with low-quality propaganda. Look at that awful collage of a letter to which Father Susan’s and Archbishop Job’s signatures are attached. ANYONE who knew Archbishop Job can see that the words attributed to him are NOT his. It’s a horribly obvious cut-and-paste job, and anyone can and will see that, especially the people you are against!! Job never spoke or wrote “Broken”. EVER.

        • Son of Job #2 says

          All the more reason for impartial investigations and due process.

          Collateral damage? Some vulnerable young men hit on by the predators (more than one) at St. Tikhon’s.

          When you were on the Synod, did you ever hear of these allegations? Did you investigate them?

          If you didn’t hear about them, who was withholding the information from you? And if information was withheld, then you are in no position to comment about it.

          The file in Syosset with complaints from St. Tikhon’s is over two inches thick. Did you know that?

          Will it take a lawsuit to meet the standard of proof you require?

          • M. Stankovich says

            Wait, wait, clarify the point: Vladyka Tikhon, the annointed of God, “entrusted with the administration of things which are in Heaven, and [who has] received an authority which God has not given to angels or archangels” (St. Chrysostom, On the Priesthood, Book 4:2), is in no position to comment, but you, an anonymous coward throwing stones from the cover of darkness have entitled yourself as positioned to do so? My. Now that is a full cup of tea! I don’t know. Vladyka Tikhon, if you are familiar the NY expression, but you have just been ” handed your hat, or scoufia, or kloubuk, or mitre, as the case may be. Holy Cow!

            In fact, your entire message has been, “Don’t let the Holy Synod tell you to SHUT UP! SHUT UP and listen to us!” Marvelous. Just marvelous. And please, help the “son” who keeps challenging me; that “son” is in serious need of a grammar checker. As you continue to “swell” your ranks, learn the lesson of Anonymous – you know the hackers that took down PayPal & Amazon (“We are legion, we do not forgive, expect us”) and, buddy, think twice about stealing that stuff – “if you sound dumb, you are dumb.” (Topiary, as he headed to jail)

            It shockingly reminds me of a patient I saw in prison who was in administrative segregation, a Nazi Lowrider gang member, who made a valiant argument for the need for “us white people to rise up and take back our country.” He was all tattooed up with slogans and swastikas, and all I could think to say was, “What has entered your mind to imagine that “we” would align ourselves with a dumbass like you?” Pal, you are not fit to carry the luggage that contains Vladyka Tikhon’s vestments.

            And enough already with the courts and the EEOC. Will the EEOC restore Jonah to his “job” based on “wrongful resignation?” (“I only have two questions: did you write this letter?” “Yes.” “Did you sign this letter?” “Yes.” BANG! All Rise. Call the next case…) And please, invest the time and money to get a transcript of Frs. Erickson & Meyendorff in the Mayfield parish case. How convincing were they? “The Court has no jurisdiction in this matter.” BANG! All rise. Call the next case…” Go back to wherever “former delusion” from which you arose and began instructing the Orthodox in the “management of the house, lest you receive what you ask:

            Woe to you who long for the day of the Lord!
            Why do you long for the day of the Lord?
            That day will be darkness, not light.
            It will be as though a man fled from a lion
            only to meet a bear,
            as though he entered his house
            and rested his hand on the wall
            only to have a snake bite him.
            Will not the day of the Lord be darkness, not light—
            pitch-dark, without a ray of brightness?

            Amos 5:18-20

            Had you not been so self-aggrandizing and prideful, I might have told you beforehand that if you want justice, you speak with the Prophet Amos. Hands-down.

            • George Michalopulos says

              There’s a lot of free association in the Michael. More than a little grasping at straws. There is real corruption in our church. I don’t care how many tattoos a man has, if he says that the Emperor has no clothes (or he’s performing an unnatural act) then he’s either telling the truth or he’s not.

            • M. Stankovich says

              For one who claims to know the score, Pal, you are sorely short of a dollar. He could not win a case of libel with my money! Twinkle-toe off to the Google law school and find out what the former Met., a public figure, would have to do to establish libel. You watch too much TV.

              And you use the term “predation, ” why?” Ominous sounding to you, perhaps? As long as men sin, it will happen. “Protected” individuals exist in politics, the police, among doctors, lawyers, teachers, whomever. As long as the Church is full of sinful people, sin will be covered up. What is your point? Not that I would ever condone such things, but I certainly recall an evening in the 1970’s when several college-aged seminarians among our ranks separately reported attempted “predation” from a student priest – and several of us, not wishing to trouble the Dean of Students, made a late evening visitation to the student priest to explain the verse, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” (Ps. 110:10) Attribute this to the stupidity of youth, and perhaps late-adolescent hormonal surge. Unfortunately, he withdrew before the start of the second semester, so I apologize now.

              I believe the point is that Christians do not belong in Court, and rather than receiving “vindication,” a Christian’s reputation is only sullied. And worse, those who would threaten other Christians with “litigation” in order to somehow frighten and manipulate are shameful. I believe it is fair to extrapolate Einstein on those who gathered together to discredit his theory of Relativity, and apply it to this situation: if you are truly honest, and you are truly righteous, you do not need a libel suit to prove it.

              • George Michalopulos says

                Michael, I appreciate your insight and I really like the way you young ‘uns took care of the problem yourselves, but that’s only a step or two away mob justice. Once or twice it’s OK, but I’d rather we had blameless men in the priesthood in the first place but failing that, an independent judiciary.

              • George Michalopulos says

                That’s a very good point. I for one am grateful that the Sons of Job at the very least made up a list of particulars against the bishops they named. If they are wrong, they’re wrong but they did not insinuate anything.

            • Ivan Vasililev says


              It would be fascinating to hear more about your time in prison with the neo-Nazis! Just when I think nothing on these pages can surprise–something like this comes along.

        • oliver douglas says

          How’s it going with that in-the-field pastoral work?

      • Jane Rachel says

        Your posts seem odd to me, and especially when you claim to be “sons” of the Holy Prophet Job. As if you have any idea what he went through, or as if you anonymous people have the right to connect yourself with him and call him your “Father.” Listen, I’m sorry but who do you think you are? Hairs raise up on the back of my neck when I actually take the time to read what you are writing. It feels like you used Archbishop Job’s name first, not the Prophet Job’s name. Why not call yourselves the “Sons of Habakkuk”? No, you chose “Job.” It is pretty darn clear to me that you want to link yourselves to Archbishop Job first. After all, HE was the big SAINT and even a martyr, according to 99% of OCA parishioners who didn’t listen to those who spoke out opposing him and Wheeler and Mark Stokoe, etc., etc. Oh, yes, he prostrated himself in front of Bishop Nikolai. You wrote about that, didn’t you? As if he was the big martyr and Bishop Nikolai was the one who should have prostrated himself before Archbishop Job? And by the way, what WAS up with that?? Did you ever wonder that if Bishop Tikhon is telling the truth about Bishop Nikolai, and that if you don’t believe what he says then you have to believe that he is lying? What were the real reasons?

        I just can’t think along a multitude of lines. Either something is true and someone is telling the truth, or something is a lie and someone is telling a lie. I don’t go back and forth that way.
        No, I believe you speak out of both sides of your mouth, whether you realize it or not. Take a stand, but don’t repeat old news as if it were new news. Using Archbishop Job’s name will give you readership. Good for you. But then, when you are called on the carpet for using Archbishop Job’s name as the source for your “group, which is growing, oh goody!, you then invoke the name of the Holy Prophet Job, who went through more than you ever did or ever will, of this I am sure.

        As if no one has been saying these same things publicly for almost seven years. So, you like it that Archbishop Job asked the Big Question: “Are the allegations true or are they false?” Many years ago, when that question was first asked, and for years afterward, Bishop Tikhon stated as fact, as did Monk James and maybe, maybe one other, though I don’t know who, that the allegations against Fr. Robert Kondratick were false. Absolutely false. So Bishop Job had his answer long ago. Why did he ride on that wave and lead all his priests to whatever the heck they all did? Yes, it still bothers me.

        How well do you really understand what has been going on in the OCA, so that you feel confident you can come forward with all these allegations? Are you sure? Why re-write it all? Why not just quote those who have already said it before?

        And where or when have you ever been falsely accused, or paid the price like the Prophet Job and Fr. Robert Kondratick and Bishop Nikolai did, so that you can justify using the name of the Prophet Job as the source of your ramblings? If you want to use the name of Archbishop Job as your Man, then you had better take a deep breath first, before you do that, and really think about whether what has been written about him is true or not. I sure would.

        Still gets under my skin when I read claptrap in the guise of truth.

        Oh gosh, as long as I’m on a roll, I want to say this: I am sorry about what happened to Metropolitan Jonah. But all that was just added scabbiness on top of what happened before he came along. Unless what happened before is dealt with openly and unless some good leaders come forward to lead the OCA and make right what was wrong, what happened to Metropolitan Jonah will never ever be made right. You can’t make right stick unless the wrong underneath it is made right first.

        • Jane Rachel says

          Meh. Thinking it through, I’m really far more frustrated with the bubbling, stinky pot of goo and with the cooks responsible for the mess, than I am with the stirrers of the pot, including these self-appointed watch-dogs, The “Sons of Job.”

    • M. Stankovich says

      Fr. George,

      You are everything I dislike about lawyers – the cold ability to distance and examine; to reject speculation & conjecture; to ask only the questions for which they already know the answer – and for this reason, I take a knee (the good one) in your presence. You are the Thomas More of this joint! I am reminded – indeed comforted – by the words of St. Paul that the day is coming “when all things shall be subdued unto Him, [and] then shall the Son also himself be subject unto Him that put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.” (1 Cor 15:28) And while I admit it is my own misguided speculation, I fully believe that the Master has no intention of perusing “lists of injustice,” intending to settle each and every score of the righteous. But on that day, Justice will simply Prevail in the Comforter, and all of this divisiveness and rancor will vanish for the righteous – both the memory and the very conceptualization with it. While I suspect you are wasting your reasoning – and your breath – it is not lost on me. Thumbs Up.

      • Carl Kraeff says

        Ditto! By the way, there are other possibilities for these “sons of Jobs” other than being “flushed with the ardor of Divine Calling.” I appreciate Father George’s reticence and charity here, but there is also the possibility that they are wolves in sheep’s clothing. I am saying this not because I think this may be the case but because it is just as plausible as accusations made by anonymous people.

        • Mark from the DOS says

          And I suppose there is no possibility that they are right?

          • Even a stopped clock is right once a day., Mark.

            • Er, that’s twice a day, good bishop.

              And, contra Fr George and Mr Stankovich, Jane Rachel has it right – “you can’t make right stick unless the wrong underneath is made right first”. Even the MP is having problems because it didn’t follow this elemental wisdom in the early post-Soviet period. Wrong-doers don’t necessarily have to be punished (that’s where the grace comes in, not in ignoring the wrong-doing), but light must be shone into the darkness and repentance and confession made for the sake of their own souls as well as the well being of the church. That’s what Chirst is all about, right?

            • oliver douglas says

              Twice a day.

          • Carl Kraeff says

            Now why would anyone would suppose that? All I am saying is that serious charges should be made by serious folks; that means not hiding behind Internet names.

        • Ivan Vasililev says

          It would be most helpful if the accusers would come out publicly. Presenting evidence anonymously, even if it is the unassailable truth, is hateful. What can be done to the “Sons of Job” if they have actual evidence of moral misdoings (never mind criminal activity)? In the old days the Holy Politburo and Metropolitan Soviet might have been able to suppress and humiliate the whistle blowers, but the days of glasnost have arrived. If the accusations are substantial and the accused have a chance to respond (or not) then it will be impossible to simply send a whole cohort to the gulag. If the accusations are not sustainable then the accusers should be held accountable. I suspect that their accusations hold a good deal of truth, though from Vladyka Tikhon’s responses, I’m not sure that they have always been as careful as they should be in their assumptions. I’m a bit troubled that a request that the question of “moral impediments” be investigated was taken as evidence that those impediments had been substantiated.
          In the end, though, I would not be at all surprised to see the Politburo and the Metropolitan Soviet swept away. I hope that what follows isn’t a time of even greater lawlessness and confusion.

          • Disgusted With It says

            “It would be most helpful if the accusers would come out publicly. Presenting evidence anonymously, even if it is the unassailable truth, is hateful. What can be done to the “Sons of Job” if they have actual evidence of moral misdoings (never mind criminal activity)?…”

            Maybe someone should ask Fr. Susan what can happen to you if you attempt to present your case publicly. Whether he’s right or wrong, it seems quite obvious that he was denied proper due process. In reading through his documents, I recall seeing more than once something to the effect of “If I am wrong, then bring canonical charges against me.” All they had to do was act on his complaints, or act against him — and they did neither. It looks like yet another botched cover-up. In fact, it looks a lot like how the synod is trying to cover-up their treatment of Metropolitan Jonah. Gosh, given the similarities, I wonder who could be behind it???

            • Carl Kraeff says

              Pardon me but, if the Holy Synod is guilty of covering up anything regarding +Jonah, it would be the full extent of his problems.The Holt Synod has limited itself to just a few recent instances of malfeasance. And for their charity they get stones thrown at them.

              • George Michalopulos says

                Actually Carl, they libeled His Beatitude. Are you sure you approve of such actions?

              • ChristineFevronia says

                Hi, Carl. That is an interesting perspective, and I am wondering if you have any sort of documentation on that… The reason I ask is because I read the 35 page report authored by the SIC in 2008 (one of the primary authors was Bp Benjamin), and that report documented a very clear and concise chronology, summary of allegations, and conclusions regarding their request for Met. Herman to retire. The Synod’s three page letter of July 2012 was so vastly different. I am not certain I would call their lack of transparency “charity”, and if they had facts to reveal, it would have been more charitable to provide those facts versus comparing Met. Jonah to Jerry Sandusky.

                • George Michalopulos says

                  This is one reason why I went back and forth regarding allowing the allegations made by the Sons of Job to be allowed. The very SIC report itself painted a very tawdry picture of the previous administration. I would suggest to Fr Martin therefore that if he has any evidence to the contrary (which would invalidate the accusations made by the Sons of Job), he should tell us exactly where the SIC report is flawed. Perhaps he should go after Arb Benjamin as well?

                  ChristineFevronia, is there anyplace we can get our hands on this report?

        • justagoodoleboy says

          Carl, I honestly don’t know how you could write this. I think the “sons of Job” are trying to expose and hold accountable the “wolves in sheep’s clothing”.

          I have been in the OCA for 40 some years and I am tired of the corrupt and inept leadership. It is my OCA and it is time to reclaim it. The poor treatment of Metropolitan Jonah was the straw that broke the camels back.

          Why is anonymity/concealment on the side of truth a bad thing? Look at our country’s founding, look into the lives of the saints and even our Lord.

          What evil do you propose they are doing? Trying to bring the things that priests and leaders have know about for decades into the light?

          Don’t you think that the Lord still calls his priests? Just because you haven’t received the call doesn’t mean others haven’t.

          Fr. George is talking lawyer speak for the status quo, he has nothing to fear and may be encouraged to speak. I could support the status quo too, but I know better and I know who called me.

          Although I don’t agree with their conclusion, the sons are speaking against corruption in our bishops and leaders, is that something a wolf would do, why not just join them, God forbid!

          You should look at what is evil and what is good, and judge rightly. Maybe you speak from ignorance about the allegations of corruption and have not experienced them.

          Have you seen the people who have been seriously hurt by the corrupt bishops and leaders??? I have and it has gone on for far too long.

          So, you and others may criticize against anonymity, but I would say “you” aren’t really in the trenches fighting the battle.

          • Jane Rachel says

            George Michalpoulos and his blog are fighting the battle, honestly. No hairs on the back of the neck there. Maybe disagreements, but no icky feeling.

            • Carl Kraeff says

              That is what they all say: OCAN, OCAT, The Antiochian, the list goes on. Of the bunch, there are only two persons that I respect: Mark Stokoe and our esteemed host, George.

          • Gailina Sheppard says

            The thing is, when you use your real name, people can judge the veracity of what you’re saying based on your character and how close you are to the situation. THAT is being in the “trenches.” What you’re doing is operating drones from Riverside.

            • Son of Job #2 says

              Gailina, if they were willing to destroy +Jonah’s reputation, they will do it to anyone who threatens them. Your conclusion assumes fair play on all sides. We have whistle blower laws and secret witness testimony because not everyone plays fair.

              Just look at how Fr. Susan was treated, and how some people pile on here to see how that works.

              We need impartial investigations and due process.

              • Gailina Sheppard says

                I agree. People with something to lose rarely play fair. It’s a nasty business to go up against something like this. I sense your hearts are in the right place, for whatever that’s worth. I would caution you to at least listen to what Father George is telling you, though. At the end of the day, I wonder if these battles are even worth it. So little changes. Perhaps it’s time to just live the life of the Church and let God take care of it. – I admit, I am tired.

        • George Michalopulos says

          Carl, Michael, what then to do about serious allegations made by others (bishops, priests, and laymen)? Sweep it under the rug, hold your nose and say “AHA! he’s a Republican!” Sorry, not good enough.

          Stop the pietiesms and self-denial. Sometimes there is corruption in the Church and when it happens, it can really stink to high heaven.

          Ken’s thesis was sound: Jonah is a good man and uncompromised. Unfortunately the Syosset regime is so steeped in corruption that it vomited him out just like thd Sea Beast did to his namesake.

      • Thomas More is considered a saint in the Roman Church….

        • M. Stankovich says

          Right, Stephen, and by theology, a schismatic & heretic.

          As a human being, he stood up, singly & forthrightly, and did not not compromise truth as he understood it. It cost him his vocation – he was a lawyer, theologian, and the British Lord Chancellor – his family, and in the end, his life. He suffered alone in the Tower of London for years, knowing that his family suffered as well, selling their very possessions in order to eat. It would have only taken his knowingly and admittedly unconsenting signature and he could have gone home. But on moral principle, he refused. I don’t know how you interpret this, Stephen, but I find it astonishing; in fact breathtaking. The Psalmist notes that “the righteous [δίκαιος} shall be remembered forever,” (Ps. 111:6), and the only qualification is, in fact righteousness. So, if you somehow imagined I used his name as a cheap convention, or pulled this out as a whimsical “parlor trick” for you to scorn, you now stand corrected.

  7. This statement, from the letter published on the cited Pokrov site, is NOT a statement by Archbishop Job or any other Bishop in the world, because it is false in the most elementary way possible:

    “Answer: The OCA Metropolitan is not an OCA Diocesan bishop. He should not accept you the way he did. The process was UN – canonical. The OCA Statute provides along with the ROEA Constitution and By – Laws clear provisions and procedures, which have been totally ignored by the OCA Metropolitan, and the ROEA Archbishop. This is a real abuse of power. I’m sorry to say this.”

    I think everyone here must know that the OCA Metropolitan MUST be an OCA Diocesan Bishop.

    • Ken Miller says

      I thought about that, but then I thought maybe Fr Vasile was transferred to Metropolitan Herman as Metropolitan, not as the Archbishop of Washington DC and New York (at the time). If one person has two roles, it would seem that some actions could be with one hat on and other actions with the other hat on. Obviously +Job is not here to explain exactly what he meant, but +Job’s signature is at the end of the interview transcript. I wonder if the documentation of Fr Vasile’s transfer is available to see exactly what it says.

      • anonymus per Scorilo says

        I wonder if the documentation of Fr Vasile’s transfer is available to see exactly what it says.

        The letter of release from Abp. Nathaniel is available on pokrov. As customary for all releases from the Romanian Episcopate, Fr. Susan was released to the Metropolitan, who then should have released him to anybody who wanted him. Abp. Nathaniel informed Abp. Nicolae of the Romanians under Bucharest of the release, and those guys even accepted him to serve at their church in Chicago for a while, until they realized whom they are dealing with, at which point they gave up on accepting him.

  8. Daniel E. Fall says

    Hey I know, everytime a gay priest is discovered, or a bishop, let’s use that as leverage!

    • Leverage to do what exactly, Daniel? To remove gay activism and sexual immorality from the church? You do realize that’s what these folks are hoping for, don’t you?

  9. Change will not happen in the OCA unless the rank-and-file take action.

    No, change will not happen in the OCA unless Moscow withdraws the uncanonical Tomos and puts an end to this fiasco.

  10. Sean Richardson says

    I read all of this with great sadness. I, being an older convert to Orthodoxy, remember stories from decades ago about how some married clergy in leadership positions, including the dean of a seminary, made it fairly clear that it was their hope to destroy the power of the celebate clergy, meaning, the bishops. They were very anti-monastic. They didn’t want bishops to have any power, at all, and therefore there was an organized campaign for about a decade, that I am aware of, where no celebate clergy were allowed to be married through the sponsorship of that seminary (there were some ordained after graduation in their diocese and some ordained through other seminaries). The feeling that I expressed then and that I hold still is that if this plan were to come to fruition, then there would be a tiny pool of candidates for episcopal positions (and this has come to pass) and in fact, almost any celebate clergyman would become a bishop. The problem, of course, is that there isn’t a pool of qualified and exceptional candidates. Unfortunately, I have a feeling that the seeds that were planted decades ago have grown into many of the weeds we see today. We have some very capable bishops and leaders, and alas, some bishops and leaders who are not capable in the least.

    I’d be happy to share with George Michalopulos how I know this to be the case and give him some very specific examples.

  11. Below is an letter to the editor of Christianity Today, Nov. issue.

    In regards to “Orthodox Moves” [September], Metropolitan Jonah was not head of the Orthodox Church of America(OCA) long enough to have much of an impact. He was elected as the best candidate available at the time. But Met, Jonah had never been a hierarch and his actions in a unilateral mode with his own agenda did not work.

    He was a former Episcopalian who had been well indoctrinated in Russian Orthodox practice while in Russia, As the head of a very small monastery, he matured in understanding an Orthodox monastic life, but as head of a major Orthodox Church he just wasn’t ready. This action only proves that the OCA works in the manner in which all Orthodox churches should operate. That is, the Orthodox Church is conciliar. A head of an Orthodox church cannot act unilaterally imposing their authority on all.

    Dio Genes

    any comments.

    • Carl Kraeff says

      Charitable, on point and true.

      • Uncharitable, full of falsehoods, and utterly untrue.

        BTW. . . The Russian Orthodox Church is not at all our enemy and there is nothing to be “indoctrinated” with except for Orthodoxy. Get a grip. . . really. . . “well indoctrinated in Russian Orthodox practice.” Good grief.

      • You have my sympathies, Carl. That’s the best I can do for you.

  12. Fr. George Washburn says

    Good morning, and thanks to God for the grace received since we went to sleep last night!

    These are interesting and valuable responses from at least three different points of the compass. We are indeed having a dialogue.

    Let me start with a key point in Job’s comments, that I am commenting ineptly or inaptly because I do not know the collateral damage he and other OCA laity and clergy have experienced at the hands of SOME past bishops. In the abstract let me concede that I do not actually know his or their pain, although I see it from a safe distance and try to empathize with it.

    On the other hand let me say that I and my family, both biological and parish, know more than most of this blog population put together about the collateral damage of misguided idealistic Puritan reaction in contemporary American Orthodoxy – based on the Ben Lomond experience. I was one of the Ben Lomond founders, and a member of the second level of parish leadership for many years before, during and after.

    I saw first hand how the delusional belief that one individual and his cronies were called to reform the Church by publicly accusing and disobeying bishops grew and grew until whatever work of God they hoped to accomplish by their self-assigned roles had been swallowed up in all the “collateral damage” and scandal. Now fifteen years on we are ALL on both “sides” still paying the bill for that one whether the payers know it or not.

    That is a form of collateral damage with which I believe Job and his collaborators are not nearly as familiar as I am, but that is why I write and mention that medical mantra: above all do no harm. When people are confronted with what they experience as painful emergencies, they are tempted not only to react, but to overreact. That is what I am really saying: from my standpoint I believe you are overreacting and setting yourselves and your entire Church up for more and more years of malaise and pain.

    It is not easy to approach the bishops constructively with pain and frustration. In fact it is one of the hardest things in the world to do. They seem to have all the power, and to be deaf to what you say and indifferent to what you feel. The temptation to overreact, to over-generalize, to stereotype, to retaliate, to want to slam the barn door in frustration now that many of the horses of the Theodosius and Herman eras are down the road. The temptation to elevate suspicion into fact, innuendo into truth, pessimism into wisdom if not imagined Divine Inspiration, and one’s own frustrated reaction into God’s Will, etc. etc. is pretty irresistible especially if you’re only listening to your team.

    I am urging you to resist, however, and to find just as firm and well-intentioned, but far more wise and sustainable, a way to pursue your concerns. The Puritans were in a strange way the sons of the Crusaders, taking up arms against their neighbors in a futile attempt to use the sword (St. Peter in Gethsemane?) to cleanse the Church of what the sword can never heal or correct – any more than the Crusader v. Muslim swords put right the Holy Land, as we can see in the front pages even to this day!

    Let’s look at what has happened in recent years. Met. Theodosius – gone. Met.Herman – gone. Bishop Nikolai – gone. Abp. Seraphim – sidelined pending the outcome of his court case. Bp. Matthias – sidelined pending action on his e-mails. From where I sit (literally a nice morning walk from where Met. Jonah lived in college) there is room to say that the system is trying to work, and that lay and lesser clergy input has played an important role in stimulating these actions. And so have good bishops, perhaps with their human shortcomings or mistakes in judgment on their records. It was they, and not you or I, who cast the votes and made the moves in public and behind the scenes, that have had some beneficial results. By your anonymous, indiscriminate and tendentious attacks on them all, yes, I believe you are bidding fair to be the “Sons of the Puritans” and to leave the same kind of damage in your wake.

    The resignation of Met. Jonah, and the various maneuverings that led to it, are your trigger point, your excuse, even your battle cry (“Remember the Maine.”) It is a very difficult problem to sort out. I consider him a friend, having been acquainted with him for over 20 years. We have not had a good personal conversation since before he left the monastery, but we did several times back then, and several of us men from the parish I was serving at the time went up to Manton and fenced the garden one weekend.

    I have tremendously mixed feelings. I believe he’s a good and sincere man with excellent positions on some key issues and a moral life I believe is worthy of his office. I believe SOME of his opponents were nasty scheming wrongdoers who caused him much pain and the Church much woe.

    On the other hand I think we see in his own comments, and in the quiet and not so quiet words and efforts of some of his friends and critics both, the acknowledgment that he wasn’t a good fit in that office. I believe that too. Either the Lord’s hand was in his resignation for his good and the good of the Church or it wasn’t. Time will tell.

    Overreaction is what we, I, do in our weakness and myopia, especially when our team seems to have lost a key game or given up a touchdown that should have been called back by the referees, and those sympathetic to our viewpoint (not to mention the voice in our own head) are the only voices we *really* listen to. And when others SEEM to flock to our banner. We overreact. Our motives, try as we might, are contaminated by resentment and the desire for payback as much as by our imagined heroism. I am trying to sound a cautionary, even contrarian, note here – much as I did from the opposite side of the net in the ocanews days when the Mark Stokoe show (written, produced and directed by, and starring, the same) was enjoying its run and the critics of his choice were e-mailing in all those rave reviews!!

    I have been privileged to catch glimpses (I am NOT a confidante of any bishops) of their pain, too. Isolated, constantly pressured or manipulated by others (if not their very colleagues!), often with fine ideals which get totally swamped by the quotidian or seamy details of running a Church full of sinners – while grappling with their own issues. Often caught in the grip of impossible choices between what is ideal and what is actually doable given all the politics and entrenched special interests. You forgive it in Met. Jonah’s performance, and memorialize it in the well-intentioned but imperfect late Abp. Job, but refuse to see that side of others who it suits a tendentious agenda to paint with broader brush.

    The Puritan is not patient, at least not when the point in the cycle is reached where each successive generation of Puritans is so sorely tempted to throw up its hands – but not down the swords gripped in those hands – as this one has. He imagines a divine warrant to ride up on Bucephalus and cut that darn Gordian knot of the Church’s woes. Such a knot is what we have to deal with alright, but if we choose to do so with such an indiscriminate use of sharp edges, we virtually guarantee ultimate failure, and set ourselves and others up for repetition of the next stages of the cycle. The Civil War kills off so many of the best on both sides, but it will always be followed by the Restoration, which then leads to …and that to ….

    When I see you guys raking through people’s past attempts to serve in difficult times involving difficult if not impossible people, settings and decisions, in an obvious attempt to neutralize and discredit them, for such comparative non-issues as not getting competing insurance quotes or for not using the office of professor and Dean of St. Tikhon’s as a bully pulpit from which to launch a Crusade to clean up the diocesan clergy if not the entire Church, I just shake my head.

    You are biting off vastly more than anyone could possibly chew. You will marginalize yourselves if you fail, and paralyze or divide the Church, if God-forbid you should succeed in making the raking of the old bones of past judgment calls the agenda of the Church. The Bp. Matthias e-mails or the Bp. Nikolai actions, by stark contrast with the territory into which you now stray, were completely fair issues to raise. They involved current allegations of personal sin of a magnitude that bears on fitness for office. But you Sons of have gone way, way past that.

    So tell us, Job(s). Does the Parable of the Wheat and Tares have anything cautionary to say to you in the here and now? Does it refer to the kind of collateral damage I have experienced and you, if you are wrong in some measure, are likely to cause?


    Fr. George

    • justagoodoleboy says

      Fr. George,

      It sadly seems to me that separation in the Church was started when Metropolitan Jonah proposed relinquishing Autocephaly in favor of Maximal Autonomy. I would think that he would have known that a proposal like that, at this time, would cause separation in the Church, not a good thing. Might the offensive actions of the Synod be a frantic attempt to remove him quickly?

      As you point out, and as I have mentioned in private conversation, I think the trajectory of the sons leads to separation also, not a good thing. I see no other avenue in their conclusion, so I can understand your puritan comparison, and I thank you for offering it and explaining it. I think your puritan warning is very timely and needed. As my mother would say, “Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.”.

      I understand that the bishops are under great stress and in a difficult position and also there are some valid complaints from the sons. Are we expecting too much from the bishops?

      I find it refreshing to have some of the issues out in the open, and yes, I may have enjoyed it a bit too much. It is nice to have the windows opened after all these years, but, I also see the sons grasping at straws. Neither side seems to have a monopoly on the truth.

      Peace is something I don’t see in the sons plan or occurring with the “return” of Metropolitan Jonah, since I view his proposal as the start of the splitting .

      I just wonder if the strong supporters of Metropolitan Jonah would agree that the split in the Church was started by him and the split is still continuing? Maybe I am wrong, but that Autonomy vs Autocephaly is how I see this whole thing starting.

      Sons, how could the Synod satisfy you? Am I incorrect in thinking that the split was started with Metropolitan Jonah and is still going on by the circumstances of his removal/return?

      (Also, to all, I apologize for my often offensive tone, it just comes naturally to me, I’ll try to temper it in future.)

      • Michael Bauman says

        Lest anyone forget, the particulars of the mess in the OCA are not really all that important. The issue is the spirit of scapegoating that was unleashed, IMO, by Stokoe and bought into it seems even by those who oppose Stokoe.

        To stop scapegoating in an organization once it has taken hold is quite difficult as each scapegoat has flaws that make them a candidate. It is all so reasonable. As an old friend of mine used to say, “The devil is the most reasonable creature in the world.”

        Steps to take:

        1. The Church does not need cleansing. My heart needs cleansing.
        2. I will have mercy, not sacrifice
        3. Allow no untruth about another to pass your lips, and most of what you know as true

        The other way to stop scapegoating before in totally destroys a community is simply for someone who has the will and the authority to put a stop to it, refuse to either participate in it or countenance it.

        Sometimes that is what it takes so that healing can take hold. Unfortunately, once it has progreesed as far as it has in the OCA, it is usually a terminal case since no one has the authority or respect to command since everyone has been tarnished.

        Even if someone leaves such a dark and dangerous place, it often takes years of quiet repentance and forgiveness before the scars begin to heal and the scapegoating demon to be exercised from one’s heart.

        Our obedience is not just to Jesus Christ alone or some vague notion of “The Church” or the canons. Obedience is personal and immediate and requires trust. Where there is no trust, there can be no obedience.

        When all is torn apart and lies disected in bloody ruins at one’s feet, can trust and obedience be rebuilt?

        These issues certainly arise from moral heresy, greed, lust (for sex and power), ecclesial heresy and a whole host of other problems that beset us all.

        Is there one thing that all can agree on? Just one thing? Doesn’t seem likely.

        The quest for the truth is destructive unless one first submits to The Truth in humility, forgiveness and love.

        I don’t know about anyone else here, but I find such spiritual graces in short supply in my heart.

        • Michael James Kinsey says

          Commonsense. Find some worthy men who do not have the extreme indifference to the afflictions forced on the flock and make them your bishops. That this be done in a Christlike manner is worthy. But , the fact that we are all sinners is no reason to refuse to redress abuses. Zachaius, restored all he defrauded 4 fold, if the OCA wishes have the Kingdom of God in it’s house, like Zachaius, it must do likewise. God has no friend and He is impartial.

    • Fr. George,

      One of the things I find so difficult in your carefully reasoned and thoughtful middle ground, is how easy it seems to stand in that middle ground. You might not like this, but I am absolutely certain that spirituality is defined by relentless combat, within and without. It’s never safe.

      Metropolitan Jonah didn’t have a choice of a middle ground in his predicament. His situation was similar with your Ben Lomand one. He was facing a situation where authentic authority – his – was being rejected. There was no middle ground for him, even if he had wanted it. Fr. Martin didn’t have that choice either. Both of them lost everything. It’s the injustice over what’s happened to them that’s got people riled up. I wish he had allowed Metropolitan Philip to advise him.

      I can’t explain why I think this – one part of me thinks you’re probably right in principle, but mostly that you are writing from your age and maturity, rather than what is appropriate for this situation. It reminds me of the Hemingway comment, “Old men start wars. Young men die in them.

      When I was young; I was a martyr of sorts to causes and to people I so ardently wished to help. And it’s true, it is easy to commit the cardinal sin in doing that – to eschew the thing you once fought for. But fighting for something is the only way change happens. Nice guys finish last.

      Che Guevera was a compassionate doctor of the poor in one decade, and a 1960s folk hero signing death warrants in the next. Who was the real Che? I prefer to think the first one.

      Since I work almost exclusively with teens, it is not possible to express in words how messed up children become when abused by priests or clergy. Spiritual counterfeits are the worst there is.

      The recent OCA scandals – two OCA bishops hitting on kids – one arrested and the other on suspension; an abbott twisting young monk’s heads around sexuality; a priest cruising the halls of St. Tikhon looking for marks. Disgusting stuff.

      Say what you want about the Sons of Job. I hope they make the OCA as uncomfortable as possible.

      • Jmical,

        I don’t know who you are but I want to thank you for your very eloquent post. The current disintegration and marginalization of the OCA is because so many of its hierarchs were or are compromised. A fish rots from the head down. The whole realignment at the cathedral in Washington, the personnel change at St. Tikhons, the ongoing staffing changes at the headquarters in Syosset, and the departure of the abbott and the monks at St. Johns, all point to serious leadership problems in the OCA.

        Without genuine repentance and recognition of the illness, the OCA is just heading down the path of marginalization and bankruptcy. Not to be a prophet, but I don’t think you have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that one or two large lawsuits will bankrupt the OCA. How long is the cathedral in Washington going to survive if it loses half of the parishioners? How long is St. Tikhon’s seminary going to survive without someone heading it on a day to day basis? How long with the treasurer of the OCA stay on if there are serious financial issues? Already the Diocese of the West had to make a $100,000 bailout. If you don’t believe me check out their website.

        Instead of pushing the “business as usual” line, perhaps the time at the Parma sobor should be spent on repentance and repairing the gift of Orthodoxy that was given to them.

  13. Appointments Announced at St.Nicholas Cathedral ,D.C.

    From:Announce [mailto:announce-bounces@…]
    Sent: Friday, November 02, 2012 1:32 PM
    To: announce@…
    Subject: Clergy Appointments at St. Nicholas Cathedral

    By appointment of +Bishop Alexander, locum tenens of the Archdiocese of
    Washington, and with the blessing of Archbishop Tikhon of Philadelphia and
    Eastern Pennsylvania and +Bishop Michael, Administrator of the Orthodox Church
    in America, the Synod of Bishops has blessed the reappointment of Archpriest
    John Perich, for an indefinite term of service, as Administrator of St. Nicholas
    Cathedral, Washington, D.C.

    With the blessing of +Bishop Alexander, Archpriest John announces the following
    clergy appointments and assignments at St. Nicholas Cathedral:

    1. Archpriest John Perich: Administrator of St. Nicholas Cathedral
    2. Archpriest Denis Bradley: Senior Priest & Assistant to the Administrator
    3. Archpriest George Kokhno: Sacristan [Riznichij] & Associate Pastor
    4. Priest Valery Shemchuk: Assistant Pastor

    • Now how many of these newly assigned (instead of merely attached) priests will be paid from the ever dwindling coffers of SNC? And how many votes do they now take to Parma, based on these new assignments?

      There’s more than one way to pack a council!

  14. Today we witnessed a way forward for the OCA in the person of Mayor Bloomberg of NYC. The upcoming marathon was becoming a matter of contention and making a horrible crisis even worse for that suffering city. People on both sides had some very real and convincing arguments to have and not to have the marathon.

    With so much animosity in every corner of the OCA maybe we need to just cancel the Parma Sobor. It may just make the crisis worse. I came to the Orthodox Church because there was an episcopacy and fled the idea that every person is their own bishop. I also come from a place that believes that the Bishop must demonstrate Christ to us in the Church and to those outside. So I am split between the Episcopacy and the Sons. I pray wanting a episcopacy that is strong against the winds of this age which the people can trust so that they will not be their own shepherd. If we elect a new Metropolitan before Jonah is given a way forward from the position that the synod put him in how can there be peace for those who truly believe that he was wronged. If Jonah does not stand up at this council and say peace will there be any so the rest of the synod can work on the many issues before them? Both the synod and Jonah need to move and make some repairs. There needs to be some ground work done to prepare us for a council. Parma was called prematurely and that is more evident with each passing day. Could it be that the synod is wrong and right on some of these matters and that those “sons” are both right and wrong on some also? We can go ahead and force the issue but it may have lasting effects.

    Yes of all people Michael Bloomberg may have shown us that a delay might be better than a permanent defeat. Forcing an election of a new Metropolitan for the OCA may in our current and fragile condition constitute a momentous and permanent defeat. I could be wrong but I think the Mayor did the right thing.

    • Dear Father Andrew,

      I feel you are right. From the minute I heard of it, I did not like the idea of a council formed with a singular and only purpose of getting as many people as possible to put the stamp of approval on electing anyone except Metropolitan Jonah as our hierarch. This is as negative and untruthful as some of the FAQ recently published in advance of Parma on the

      There are many standing issues and vacancies in the OCA at present, and I will repeat what has been dismissed before on this forum – We need our bishops. They are essential to the working of our church. Another seemingly unpopular statement – I love the OCA and wish all other jurisdiction in this hemisphere would join with her and end jurisdictionalism here. We can keep all our languages and customs and celebrations and honor all our ancestors. But our Church still can remain Holy, Catholic and Apostolic. We have a few issues at present, putting it mildly, one of the chief of which is utilizing our best resources. We need Jonah’s sermons, for example, his way of loving kindness and bringing folks together. We need his Orthodox pronoma and American sensibility both. We need to be thinking about how we can increase social work by the CHurch in this critical time in our history and poor economic times, and not waste resources on overlapping administrations and administrative costs, much less on lawsuits and legal defenses.

      If we acknowledge none of us is sinless and we all collectively work for our salvation, can we not focus on love in place of animosity? Can we not see that even collectively with all jurisdictions, we have limited human resources and must treasure each and every gift of each and every one of the two or more of us gathered together in His Holy Name? We are squandering each other in hatred. We are not learning or teaching love. We are not fostering confession and a life in Christ when we do not love one anotherand ask forgiveness of one another that we may confess. Neither should we lose vigilance as the thief comes in the middle of the night.

      Our next council should be one in which we come together to fill many vacancies and discuss many issues, some hard and some joyful and get a whole lot done in a loving, committing atmosphere.

  15. I am relieved and thankful that this article was published. “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

  16. Michael James Kinsey says

    A breath of fresh air. Recognition of the situation in the OCA clearly stated, which will have eternal consequences, The factual picture that has been presented in an orderly fashion, the evidence clearly favors the re-reinstatement of +Jonah. It also means that you all must start looking for the best genuine servants of the Lord Jesus Christ , as I expect their will be quite a few Episcopal vacancies. Is 80 a good age to force retirement?

  17. Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

    I come here and read as one who must follow in the footsteps of the great Saint Mary of Egypt, though far behind her in accomplishments. I know nothing of your difficulty firsthand and I do thank all bloggers for conversations ongoing I would otherwise not be privy to. They have helped me enormously as all conversation does for those wishing to learn.

    My one contribution to the immediate matter at hand might be that I am hearing (or reading) that many in your community at large have already left to join other communities. This reminds me (and above all I am not an expert on Scripture) of our Lord’s injunction to the seventy as they went out to spread the good word, that if they would not be received they should simply shake the dust from their sandals. He said this, I think, because he wanted to preserve their innocent eagerness and joy for as long as possible, knowing great trials were ahead in which all would lose that impulse.

    I know as Orthodox or understanders of the Orthodox faith, all of you have felt that spiritual energy from the glorious tradition we have inherited, and that is why I say, this immediate crisis is like the sending of the seventy, not like the great test of the crucifixion in which all of us fall short but are uplifted in the generosity of God. In another way it reminds me of Saint Paul, who I am sure loved his Jewish community with the same intensity when he fell into his enormous error in judgement.

    We do ponder the strong injunctions of the one who also committed a great sin, having held the robes of his fellow Jewish leaders so that they could more easily stone protomartyr and saint Stephen. We ponder these injunctions, and we forgive him for strong statements because of his personal history. That is how I see his epistles – they stand in a different place as a part of Holy Scripture, just as does the Old Testament. The Gospels have pride of place.

    And we have our Lord’s own example at his Last Supper where Judas himself reached for the best morsel as it shows in the icon. The disciples are turning to one another and asking “Is it I?” And Christ Himself allowed the kiss of Judas – who then can be denied his Eucharist? I wonder at all the prohibitions I have read about, but I do not transgress them now that I understand they are in force. It would seem the young Bishop Jonah turned to himself and said “Is it I?” I love him for that, and all of you as well, for attempting to cut off the ear of the soldier. And in my foolishness I think, canons? We are not in our faith bound by such things! Really, we are not. How will it seem to those not in our faith if that is the level to which we have descended, examining and testing and finding wanting. You would so find me wanting; you would. And yet, each of us has the most important interior conversation with our Lord and God, and that is enough, as the psalmist says.

    At the end of the holy apostle Paul’s letter to the Galations, he says “See with what large letters I am writing to you in my own hand.” And then he says, “I bear on my body the marks of Jesus.” What marks? He is saying that he too was circumcised as Jesus was, and he, sinner that he is, knows that circumcision or noncircumcision does not matter. That is, finally, how it is with canons; they are tools, not faith itself. And there should be, there must be, no barriers to faith erected by us, when Jesus himself erected none.

    Come out into the desert with me, alone or in small groups. See what a treasure you have. This is the day which the Lord has made; Let us rejoice in it and be glad!

  18. Heracleides says

    One last observation before the Parma Farce commences. The image is titled “DOA” and may be viewed, along will all the others, here.

  19. Nicholas II says

    I just got back from Liturgy this morning at my Midwest parish. My priest read two letters regarding the synod’s decision regarding Matthias aloud to us. He said he received them at 10:00 PM last night and was directed to read them at Liturgy today. They can be found here: and here:

    As one can see, the synod pronounces Matthias guilty of sexual misconduct (though Matthias himself tries really hard to avoid admitting it in his letter.) They have proscribed three measures with which he is supposed to comply, and imply that it is their intention to keep him on the synod thereafter.

    Then they proceed to lecture on forgiveness and healing and how it is our Christian duty to exhibit forgiveness by keeping Matthias as a bishop. Now, I am completely willing to forgive Matthias, to empathize with him, to realize I am surely more of a sinner than he is. I will pray for his healing. I hope he takes this issue seriously and uses it to help open his eyes and heart to greater repentance. I do NOT think he should remain a bishop. What kind of example and precedent does this establish for Christian leadership!? There is a complete difference between forgiveness and enablement. Matthias holds the highest office of the church and thus needs to exhibit a blameless life. Both the New Testament and the canons of the Church attest to this. See Titus, 1 Timothy, and Canon IX of the First Ecumenical Council for examples. Since he has failed to lead such a life in a grave and public manner, for the dignity of the office, he needs to remove himself (or be removed) and pursue his repentance and healing as a layman. I will be the first to embrace and support him as such. I will be the last to kiss his hand as a Bishop. He has made himself ineligible for the office – pursuing the romantic affections of his own parishioner and asking her to hide it?!! Come on!!

    I also find the double standard of the synod amazing! They started out their explanation of requesting Jonah’s resignation by stating that he had failed to deal with instances of sexual misconduct appropriately. They have just made themselves guilty of exactly the same thing!! And not only this, they requested Jonah’s resignation over what amounts to being difficult to work with. Yet they are protecting a new bishop who has actually been declared guilty of grave abuse of his office and personal sin!!! In contrast, there is no grave personal sin that Jonah is known to have committed. Surely the Synod could not come up with anything, and from their letter explaining their actions in regard to his resignation, it sure looks as though they were searching for his sins! What an amazing double standard!! I have lost all confidence in them. I will be recommending that any new convert steer clear of the OCA right now and enter one of the other Orthodox Churches. I am considering leaving for one myself.

    • One would like to give Bishop Matthias the benefit of the doubt, but there is a paragraph in his letter that is very concerning. On the one hand, he seems to deny any wrong doing and claims it was all a misunderstanding, but he then acknowledges that only repentance will win back the support of the people. That bespeaks insincerity and suggests that attachment to his office is what motivates him. An honourable man, if truly convinced of his innocence, would stand his ground and maintain his integrity, even if the price of that was losing office. If he is certain his motives were “not impure”, what will he repent of? Stupidity?

      And I agree with Nicholas, against the backdrop of the Jonah saga, this all appears hypocritical and damaging to the church.

      • George Michalopulos says

        I’m more concerned about the “gang-that-can’t-shoot-straight” aspect of this. In his letter he admits no wrong-doing but the Synod’s letter says the opposite. I guess it’s like being a little bit pregnant.

    • ChristineFevronia says


      Bishop Matthias is found “guilty” of sexual harrassment, and is not fired? The synod’s explanation for him not being fired is that “Our God is a God of forgiveness”?

      This is the last straw for me. Why would I ever let my children grow up in a church knowing that if a clergy member–let alone a BISHOP–could be found guilty of sexual harrassment, and not be IMMEDIATELY FIRED?

      I simply cannot endure it any more. Enough is enough. My husband and I are taking our broken hearts to ROCOR officially and for good. Farewell, my brothers and sisters.

      • Nicholas II says

        We’re considering the same move too. Maybe we’ll meet in a ROCOR parish! I don’t want my money going to these people in OCA!!

        • What part of barely legal recent convert being subjected to suggestive emails while she is recovering from illness doesn’t the Holy Synod understand? And all she is to receive is a letter of apology as part of restoring the perp to service?

          And Metropolitan Jonah has not be reassigned to another bishopric? Why shouldn’t he be given Bishop Mark’s? Or the DOS? Why isn’t he invited to Parma

    • Light reveals the truth says

      I heard these letters read in my parish after Divine Liturgy, today, too. The synod advises us that upon consideration of the investigation by the response team they have determined that Bp. Matthias’ texts and email did constitute sexual misconduct. Reading the texts and emails, who could conclude otherwise? Then Bp. Matthias’ letter was read. He speaks of the ‘purity of his conscience’. I believe he urged the young woman more than once not to tell anyone about his proposed arrangements. This does not smack of a pure motive! He says he is sorry that his texts and emails caused ‘confusion’ in their recipient. I’ve read his texts and his emails. Confusion? Really? CONFUSION?? This is a non-apology, a non-explanation, a non-admission of sexual misconduct. I have no faith in the synod’s ‘rehabilitation’ process, but that’s beside the point anyway–since his behavior constitutes sexual misconduct he should be laicized. Therapy is a good idea, but therapy undertaken as a lay person.

    • “Our God is the God of second chances.”

      But if your name is Metropolitan Jonah, who’s God is whose then?

      – – – – – – – – – – – – –

      “I wish that I could convince all of you what I am certain of in my heart – that the conscious
      motives behind my interaction with this woman were not impure.
      “(Bishop Matthias)

      Translation of in-between-the-lines speak: ” I wish that I could convince all of you of what I am certain – I didn’t say what I said, I didn’t do what I did, and I didn’t ask a kid to keep it all secret between her and me. The way my heart works, bringing an air mattress over to a unsuspecting girl’s house (she was 19 or 20) uninvited shouldn’t be construed as anything out of the ordinary, but just in case it might be, don’t let the parish priest know I’m coming (probably her dad too). And, as I clarified in my correspondence with her towards the end of this unfortunate business, she had betrayed my confidence, I hadn’t betrayed hers.

      I look forward to the day when you people finally get this (sigh) – I always tell the truth – I never shade it to suit my ends. As proof of this, a careful reading of the letter I wrote regarding Metropolitan Jonah’s resignation will show that that is so.

      And lastly, in closing, remember that a man is defined by what he says, not by what he does.

      Some of you may think this is a non-denial denial, but I hope I have the words right and it says what you want to hear, because I think it can be the beginning of something good. “

      • George Michalopulos says

        Regarding forgiveness for Jonah: “Forgiveness for Me but not for Thee.”

        • Monk James says

          George Michalopulos says:

          November 5, 2012 at 7:56 am

          Regarding forgiveness for Jonah: “Forgiveness for Me but not for Thee.”

          How about forgiveness for Fr Robert Kondratick, including his reinstatement as an OCA priest in good standing?

          After all, his innocence was proved in civil court. in spite of how ‘christian’ people sought to crucify him.

          • Jane Rachel says

            Monk James wrote:

            How about forgiveness for Fr Robert Kondratick, including his reinstatement as an OCA priest in good standing?

            After all, his innocence was proved in civil court.

            Father Kondratick’s innocence was proved in civil court.

            Is there something that can be done to get him reinstated, or do we have to wait for the OCA Holy Synod of to act?

            The mess started with the Big Lie and the waters won’t begin to clear until this issue with Father Robert is dealt with. I never believed he was guilty, because the whole thing, from beginning to end, just smelled too fishy. Are Monk James, Father Martin, Nikos, Bishop Tikhon, and Amos liars? Of course not. Father Kondratick was cleared in civil court. The SIC report is full of errors. People who were interviewed for the report changed their story when questioned under oath. Look who headed up the SICs: Archbishop Job and Archbiship Benjamin. The allegations are false.

      • Light reveals the truth says

        Jmical–Yes, exactly what’s between those lines.

  20. Ashley Nevins says


    The article gives an incomplete picture of the exact nature of the problems. It is a good effort, but it clearly falls short of what needs to be exposed as church dysfunction.

    There are resources you can utilize to form a complete picture.

    Two books: The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse/ Toxic Faith.

    Goggle searches: Dysfunctional church systems, toxic church systems, shame based church systems, spiritually abusive churches, sexually corrupt churches, etc.

    These are resources from the rational modernity church that speaks the language of today and in a fashion that can be understood. They are practical and real world. They are protest of corruption and abuse. They pro-active and not passive. They don’t wait until it happens. They speak into before it happens. They stand as a warning to be heeded. I don’t believe you will find any Orthodox websites that address these kinds of specific issues. The reason why is that Orthodoxy is a closed system and a closed system has only its internal self as its only solution. These solutions provided are universal open system solutions that even the closed system Orthodox can apply. However, they will only works as far as the closed system will allow open system solutions to work. Good luck.

    There are even resources on how to handle fallen clergy, but it take character in integrity to understand how to apply the practical steps. It takes spiritual maturity and a corrupt and failed church does not have that level of spiritual maturity or it would solve its problems without attorneys being the solution. Yes, Orthodox look to attorneys as your solution and not Christ alone as your solution and see where it takes your OCA.

    The article posted does not go to cause of church dysfunction. It only points out the dysfunctional symptoms. The cause is not the symptoms. You can believe the article posted points to the cause and you will continue to fail in all of your efforts.

    I predicted the failure of Jonah the day after he was appointed Metropolitan. I exposed his character, his incompetency and his dysfunction.

    Had all of you had approached your church problem and his appointment with the approach of standards in competency, character and dysfunction your church would not be in a circular without solution state.

    Can all of you see yourselves in your church incompetency, character and dysfunction?

    Can you see the solutions to these problems and practically apply them?

    Do you honestly know what the cause of the incompetency, character and dysfunction ultimately is?

    When you come to the answers to these questions that will be proved by your solution to the problem that works and does not talk. It makes things happen and turns talk into constructive reform. All other is just more talk, talk, talk that goes in circles without providing a solution that really works.

    These discussions are nothing more those crying at the funeral of the OCA and with one side pointing at the other side being responsible for the death and when both sides are responsible for its death.

    The reason why the Orthodox on their various discussion sites really only talk about problems is because when you have no solution you are rendered to any only complain and moan about the problems. The reason why this is taking place is because the vision of the church is the church dysfunction. You will have to think for yourself to think through that statement to come to the conclusion as to why I state it to you.

    Yes, the solution is outside of you and I have told all of you that for YEARS. Now, it is OCA vogue with this article that tells you the solution is outside of you. The only problem is it does not outline the Christ centered solution that when practically applied actually works. If you are out of Orthodox solutions to the Orthodox problem you got serious problems with your Orthodoxy. It proves what I have told you for years. You are circular without solution by the wrong solutions applied.

    Do you know why the solution is outside of your church? I have told all of what that is in the past. Hint: is the EOC a closed system or an open system? Jesus Christ is an open system that speaks into what is closed system. Your solution is Christ in the Gospels. Your solution is to become an open system, but you can’t. The entire church structure and system is designed to be closed system of self protection that ultimately becomes its self destruction denied.

    BTW, lawsuits are not the outside in solution. I just explained why. Now, do the Orthodox typical and closed system do not listen like the failed closed system always does.

    Yes, I know, I have no idea what it is I am talking about and all the Orthodox talk, talk, talk does know what it is talking about and that is why the state of the EOC in America is found corrupt, failed, irrelevant, abusive and dying a slow, ugly and painful death.

    Now, let the funeral procession make it comments about how my attitude is bad and how much I hate all of you. I warned you before it all happened and you did not listen. You did not like the warning and you do not like the real world outcome of your church. You are in quite the closed box pickle for not heeding the warning and what the real world outcome is telling you about all of you in your church.

    A closed box does not hear the outside in solution and that is why lawsuits instead of the outside in Christ is your solution. The world and not Christ is your solution because your church has become like the world without Christ alone as its solution. This is not to say someone cannot sue the church over an issue like sex abuse. It is saying that the greater solution to the greater structure and system problem is Christ alone.

    Gods only alone right and one true church only solution is lawsuits and not the only true and one God of all. That is very TELLING of all of you. It is telling you that your church has reached the point of no return and that its theology can’t solve the problem. Could the theology that designed what the structure and system is based upon be the problem? Don’t go there Orthodox you might find the cause and when all of you just love to talk, talk, talk, symptoms that point to the cause you refuse to go too.

    You still don’t like the warning or the outcome of your EOC in America, do you. That is not a question. It is a statement of fact.

    Guess what, there is a growing movement in the GOA now that also sees its only solution as lawsuits. You share so very much in common. You share the same theology that designs your structures and systems. Common denominators are like dots. Connect them and you can go directly to cause. But only if you are not in denial of what the cause is when you finally arrive at it.

    Did you know you can measure the salvation of a church by the degree or depth of its unresolved corruptions and abuses destroying it? Yes, your salvation is your church only solution. No solution tells you what about its salvation? The Orthodox love to point such out in other church failures, but never seem to quite figure it out the same for themselves. Gee, I wonder why?

    America’s two largest jurisdictions cannot find solutions from inside of themselves. Those Christ confronted in the Gospel could not either. Everyone of them that He confronted came from a closed system and had a closed system mind set towards problem solution. That is why they rejected Christ as their outside of them solution. Sound at all familiar?

    I did like the spiritual warfare aspect of the article. Too bad it does not outline the practical and deeply spiritual process of bondage breaking steps a church can take. Oh, yes, you also might find those steps in a Goggle search. I was wondering which side do you stand on with that Armor of God since both sides believe they are right? How about if you stand outside of sides and stand with the outside in Christ who is your only hope of turning a closed system into an open system? You will fail by are taking a closed system mind set approach with the Armor of God that is open system. You somehow want it to open up transparency and at the same time you don’t want to change your structure and system to open system where it could then really work. At best you will get a temporary transparency and then the closed system will turn it all back into the same. Yes, it will too Orthodox. Christ the Armor of God is a transforming change from closed system to open system by structure and you don’t get it!

    A closed system hates transparency and accountability and do any of you know why? Sin is a closed system and it hates being exposed. Put that closed sin into an already closed system and you got a serious problem. The sin in the closed system will completely close out any solution. How many of you have ever thought about it like that before? How close am I to coming to the cause of the problem? Am I a mile off or am I like only an inch away?

    The article says transparency and accountability is a solution, but it does not address that from transformation from closed system to open system to make that happen. It believes lawsuits is now the only way to open the closed system to hold it transparent and then accountable and at the same time it still wants the same closed system that is the set up for the problems to remain.

    The more closed the system the less openly transparent and accountable the system. The more open the structure and system the more openly transparent and accountable is that system. So, Orthodox, keep changing leaders, look to the courts and what ever else you can find for your solution. Don’t change the closed system to an open one by changing its structure and believe that is your solution.

    Your structure and system is top down closed. Christ in the Gospels came to us bottom up open. Yes, I know even when stated so simply you can’t see your problem. The Sanhedrin was a top down closed system. Christ who is bottom up and open system confronted them. What is open opens what is closed and it does not work the other way around. So, don’t Orthodox believe me and stay the same failed closed system and run out of solutions with it and die. Believe your structure and system is the structure and system of Christ come to us and continue to die. Lol, use anything open outside of you other than the open Christ as your solution and believe that is your solution!!!

    Does a open system close out Christ and Him as solution or does a closed system close out Christ and Him as solution? Read the Gospels for the cause of your problem and to find your solution, Orthodox. Or, keep appointing visionaries of change like Jonah who was a failure just waiting to happen. Change leaders but don’t change the structure and system of leadership destroying you. Unbelievable are you people in your failure that cannot see the true cause of its failure. There is no reaching you or reasoning with you. You are the end all of God in your minds and look at where the Orthodox Mind based on closed system thinking has taken all of you with its closed thinking.

    So, the Orthodox solution is the courts to force transparency and when a structure and system change is a far more effective and better long term solution to the transparency problem that is the closed system itself.

    So, Orthodox treat the symptom with the wrong cure and see the closed system cause of the problem not change.

    Gods only alone right and one true church is not Gods only alone right and true solution to itself, and that is what all of you are really saying. Rational Christianity compares claim to outcome of claim. I can claim to be anything I want but it does not make me that unless I can live the claim.

    Yes, today I claim to be Superman. I can only prove that how? The EOC by its claim claims to be the Superman of all churches. Prove it by your outcome. Prove it by solving your church problems with God as your solution. You can’t. I told you in the past that a closed system runs out of solutions for it being closed to other outside of it solutions. What is closed only has itself as solution. What is open has many options to solution. You know, like Christ in the Gospels as the real open system solution that will work.

    The comparison of Christ in the Gospels to the Sanhedrin is a comparison of outcomes between a closed system and an open system.

    The more the closed system the less it listens to what is outside of its closed system. The Orthodox do not listen and I know why they don’t. They only really listen to themselves in their being so Gods only alone true and right about themselves. That is a closed system mind set and it is pure failure. That Orthodox failure in open system freedom of religion competition America is a closed system failure that cannot get outside of its closed system to compete. Where you came from you were the only competition and now you are not and your outcome is telling all of you something about your structure and system you refuse to see.

    Jesus Christ in the Gospels is open system freedom of religion competition by choice in competition to the Sanhedrin. There was no competition to them before He appeared. They did not stand a chance as a closed system against Him and when He came as open system competition. GET IT? You can get it if you open system think for yourself without the closed system thinking for you.

    Prediction: the Orthodox outside in solution will be the wrong outside in solution and they will continue to fail.

    Prediction: when the wrong outside in solution is applied and leads to more failure the closed structure and system will still be denied as the problem.

    Prediction: no one listened here and so they will not listen when the next failure arrives as predicted.

    Yes, I know, in the Orthodox closed system mind set my open system mind set has got this wrong.

    From a time and place least expected I tell you things you have never thought about for yourselves.

    The outside in has spoken in and it was not heard by the closed system. Oh, you thought I was talking about all of you not hearing me. No, I was really thinking of Christ in the Gospels and His experience with the same. My spiritual DNA is protest corruption and abuse and so I am always looking at the protest Christ made in the Gospels. He never stopped the protest. By conducting the recommended Goggle searches you will see a church like Christ that never stops the protest. Then you can compare it to the EOC that is conformity to corruptions and abuses and not protest of them until way too late. If you are in a constant state of protest you stand a much better chance of stopping what is stopping your church.

    A closed system really does not allow protest. Do you know why? I will leave this one up to all of you to figure out for yourselves why. Hint: Goggle totalism, absolutism and dictatorship. Here is a novel to the Orthodox concept: Goggle closed system and open system and then compare the two. It will take work to do this if you think for yourself. Then compare both to Christ in the Gospels. Then compare them to your church. Wow! Protest by comparison is hard work! Jesus in the Gospels was all about the difficult and hard work of comparison and He did it Himself to reveal to us we must do it for ourselves too. We take responsibility for it and we don’t hand that responsibility over to corruption, abuse and incompetency or our church becomes that.

    We just can’t let incompetency, corruption and abuse think for us or we will end up with the same thinking of the incompetent, corrupt and abusive. When we do that we make that our leadership and then we fail by that leadership which is really our failure to think for ourselves by comparisons. If we fail like this guess where we go with that leadership? Well, where do we go??? We go to low leadership standards and that compromise will cost you your church. Hand over your power to such leaders and they will destroy the church and take all of you down with it. A lack of Christ centered protest is the compromise that hands over power to those who are not transparent or accountable by protest.

    A church based upon top down power and control and that takes all power and control away from the Body of Christ that is HIS CHURCH is a church that is not HIS CHURCH. It only becomes more of itself and as it does it becomes less like Christ. The more it becomes other than Christ the more it becomes like the EOC you all see. That is what you have and to deny it is to deny the corruption and abuse that it is. I do not know one jurisdiction in America that is not under the same spiritual abuse of power and control as is the OCA. They are all the same by being the same structure and system and nothing, and I mean nothing is going to change until there is radical change of structure and system.

    Transparency and accountability is protest and the Orthodox flat don’t have either or the compromised carnal corrupt and abusive EOC of America would be in a far different state than it is in today. You would all rather line up to known bishop or Met corruption that visits your parish to get a blessing from it than protest the lie in the blessing it is. Bow to that to get a blessing from it and it will destroy your church. Call that corruption out in public and to its face and demand structure and system change or you will all go down with the jurisdictions that have all spiritually come down by their outcomes.

    I know churches that on any given Sunday have more people in attendance than the entire honest and real size of OCA. You would be stunned at the different cutting edge ministries they have that reach right into our society in ways the Orthodox can only fantasize about. Fantasy is not reality and these churches are reality. The Orthodox live in a fantasy of who they see and believe themselves to be. That fantasy is getting a reality check and that check is just getting started. I promise.

    What is the difference of these Christ alive churches by comparison to the Orthodox jurisdictions in America? You do not go there to ask yourselves that and when you rarely do it is all about how right and true you are in comparison to them. You find fault instead of innovation and ideas that work! That is your comparison and it is the Orthodox failure that cannot see past its self righteousness that is the spiritually correct measure of all before you and who are not of you.

    Oh, but go to the courts for your solution and do not look at the dynamic, alive and growing church all around you for solution. All of your we alone are right and true of God solutions have all failed, but the true church solution is exponential growth all around you. Don’t pay attention to that and for sure don’t compare. Listen to failure that only leads to the next failure instead. Unbelievable are you people in your failure.

    I do not hear protest from the Orthodox. I hear adolescent like whining about being constipated. If this was real Christ like protest then a real Christ change would take place. Period.

    Now, is this where all the Ashley hates all of you comes in? Just wondering.

    Ashley Nevins

    • Ashley. You said this to us: ” I hear adolescent like whining about being constipated.”
      That sounds like a phrase you may have been habitually using (and others like it) to whip others in line who dared to defy or disagreed with you How did that work out?

    • The Orthodox reality is Jesus Christ and the Church is His Bride. Please, take your heretical protestant opinions elsewhere.

    • Windbag: “A person who talks at length but says little of any value”

    • Dear Ashley,

      I have read those sources on the nature of spiritual abuse and appreciate them (as you can see from many of my posts). I think they should probably be required reading in every seminary curriculum. The “toxic shame” from which I, personally, struggle to recover in my own life comes from a pretty broadly generic conservative Evangelical Protestant background (and yet even I know that not everything in that background is to blame for my own neurotic tendencies–ultimately it is the way the devil uses some of those things–and twists true orthodoxy/Orthodoxy–that leads to spiritual illness).

      You throw good Orthodox Bishops under the bus with the bad. Met. Jonah wrote an article on the nature of true spiritual fatherhood that was completely consonant with the material in those books–and, more importantly, with Christ’s example in the Scriptures as our great High Priest and Shepherd. He also lives it, as those closest to him can attest. Don’t believe everything you read on the Internet or in the news. There are corrupt Orthodox Bishops, Priests, etc. (and corrupt Pastors and Priests in other Christian groups as well), and there are good and godly ones who know God and reflect His grace to others.

      From your posts, it appears to me that you suppose that Christ’s justice and power (and that of the administrative “authority” within the Orthodox Church shared between its Bishops when it is operating in a normal and healthy way) works in a much more immediate and coercive way than it, in fact, does. Have you learned nothing then from Christ’s dealings with others recorded in the Gospels, His life and teachings, and from the nature of His death on the Cross, in particular (which was also a victory over Death–even as was His glorious Resurrection)? Have you not learned from the nature of our sanctification which requires long and painstaking progress (with much patience and forbearance from judgment on God’s part because of our constant falling into sin) and consistent effort on our part seeking to yield our will to Him because He will never force His will on us (though, He gives abundant grace and empowers us whenever and to whatever extent we do)? Are you learning nothing from the nearly 2,000 year delay for his Second Advent? “God is not slow about His promises as some count slowness, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9).

      Ashley, would you consider doing less railing on the Internet (and elsewhere) against the institutional corruption you perceive (all of us have limitations in our perceptions and cannot give a completely true and whole picture, even when we are completely sincere and our intentions are good), and instead increase your time praying for us? That is where any real power and influence any of us might have for good comes from.

      God grant you abundant grace and peace.

  21. Catherine 9 says

    I have not gone through all the comments, but I probably am the only person
    on this particular forum who is happy that Bishop Matthias
    seems ready to be reinstated.

    My attitude is that this is NOTHING compared with so many other things
    that others are doing !

    Why keep after this particular incident when there are so many glaring
    things going on ? Why not put the energy into fighting
    this ‘archbishop benjamin” who is
    frankly, a
    SOCIOPATH type !

    Look that up and compare with Bishop Matthias’ irregularity.
    He is not a mental case like Benjamin clearly is.
    Few people want to turn the spotlight on Benjamin,
    but I am sure he has so many other hidden problems
    that would make one sick beyond what already
    has emerged.

    Get THAT prelate out first and foremost !

    Bring a chastened Bishop Matthias back and let him
    devote himself to accomplishing good work in his Diocese..

    • Fr. George Washburn says

      It’s deja vu all over again, folks. This time instead of Mark S. I am chiding George M., but the problem is basically the same now as it was then. The chidee just happens to be wearing a different uniform and facing in a different direction.

      Mark’s operation touted itself as a news service, and even wedged that word into its moniker. It also purported to have an editor/moderator … Mark himself.

      I think this site aspires to less newsiness and more intellectual and spiritual value for one’s, er, time I guess, but I admit to not having paid careful attention on that point. The lack of editorial/moderatorial function is the same as Mark’s, however, at least when the anonymous attacker is saying what the Party wants said about a particular Target.

      Catherine 9’s outburst above is Ex. A. I ask that the Clerk so mark it, and the Court admit it into evidence.

      It contains no shred, not the slightest hint, of any intellectual or professional qualifications or experience to diagnose others. It contains no evidentiary support, let alone argument as to how that non-existent evidence could lead to the shrieker’s (or the host’s) desired conclusion. It just shrieks a single, conclusory epithet in capital letters.

      I don’t care what George once aspired to be, or for this site to be, or whether he attains it now and then. I do specifically and pointedly care about what he and this site now has all too often become – a tendentious, small-minded facilitator of low blows by nasty ambush-artists who strike from hiding and do not have the decency or mental power to back their reactivity with any substantiation at all.

      Most of the spiritual syndicalists who vent here are not quite so blatant as Catherine was in this message, so we can be grateful to her for sending something so clear …. and to George for sending it straight through the “moderation department.” Please be on the lookout here, friends, for better camouflaged and more subtle doses of the same negativity and pessimism from Catherines of any number or pseudonym, and others. Some of it is well-crafted, but the subtext is more or less the same. You are being sold a bill of goods, a pig in a poke that is no more Orthodox and spiritual and right than the sins they attack in others.


      Fr. George

      • Fr. George Washburn says

        John has nailed it, I think, with the label mundane. At least that is what I hope I am by comparison with the things I am criticizing.

        In the olden days if Mr. Miller or a Catherine of any number at all jumped to conclusions without evidence, assailed others with pop psych labels diagnoses for which they had no professional standing to make, it would have died a bad-enough, but still natural, little death when their circle of friends had gotten tired of hearing it or repeating it to their friends, etc.

        Now, with a semipermanent “the sky is falling” drumbeat emanating from certain quarters and wired addiction rife in certain parts of the Church, if a noisy person (out of good motives, bad or mixed) wants to trash someone or something, a few key strokes can very quickly do a whole lot of intended or unintended damage. By comparison with that kind of drama, I sure hope my calls for reason, patience, careful investigation of facts, and more than a dash of skepticism *about the voices in our own heads* whispering “victim” or “hero” (or both)- seems mundane and middle of the road by comparison! Thanks for the feedback.


        Fr. George

        • And for those who are the victims? You watch in the theatre seats while others are mauled by lions, giving your advise, critiquing, judging . . . so above it all. . . .

          • Fr. George Washburn says

            Dear Collette:

            My care for the “victims” – a term which I think i would define more broadly than you probably do, but that is a total guess on my part – manifests itself on this site at this particular time in the form of cautionary comments, lest those reacting to the wrongs …or *alleged* wrongs …of the past cause a different kind of victimhood by their reactions. There is such a stampede in a certain direction here that I feel that the best contribution I can make, out of love, involves just what you notice – staying above the fray and offering a point of view different from what is being shouted by the majority.

            I tell a story on myself that makes the point I am trying to convey, about a time when my sons were young and fooling around in a small, old-fashioned little elevator in an apartment building where we were staying. There was a folding, accordion-like door that retracted when you entered and creaked shut before the lift went up or down. My younger son got his head stuck in the accordion and when I rushed over to help, my first move inadvertently made it squeeze tighter. I think that is what so many of the well-intentioned participants here are doing – making things worse rather than better – by their reactions. Or like those serial drowning cases where a group of friends or family who cannot swim are horsing around, one gets in over his head, and others die trying to save him.

            As far as what I actually do or fail to do to help the needy in my non-internet life, may the Lord have mercy on me for doing less than I could.


            Fr. George

      • Carl Kraeff says

        I think this is brilliant: “I don’t care what George once aspired to be, or for this site to be, or whether he attains it now and then. I do specifically and pointedly care about what he and this site now has all too often become – a tendentious, small-minded facilitator of low blows by nasty ambush-artists who strike from hiding and do not have the decency or mental power to back their reactivity with any substantiation at all.”

        • ” a tendentious, small-minded facilitator of low blows by nasty ambush-artists who strike from hiding and do not have the decency or mental power to back their reactivity with any substantiation at all.”

          But Carl, you have described yourself. You can’t deny it. It would have been better for you not to respond to this at all . . .

          • Carl Kraeff says

            Dear Colette–It turns out that we are the opposite sides of the same coin; we both think the same of each other. I guess this is progress of a kind…

    • Catherine, the simple fact is that Bp. Matthias is NO LONGER QUALIFIED to serve as Bishop. According to St. Paul, a Bishop must be “blameless, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior.” If he met those standards in the past, he certainly does not meet them now. Is there some rule that says you can only remove one bad Bishop at a time? ANY Bishop found to be unqualified needs to go, up to and including the whole Synod, unless we want to make a mockery of the faith.

      • Catherine 9 says

        If Bishop Matthias should repeat the bad actions and behavior, especially after
        the harsh glare of exposure over the recent incident, then surely he will fail badly in all 4 of St Paul’s criteria and should be removed then.

        However, as far as BLAMELESS Bishops, where are they today ?
        Chronologically, in America, the last blameless hierarch I can think of is – don’t cringe, as he
        was quite outspoken –
        ROCOR’s Metropolitan Philaret [Vosnesensky] of Blessed Memory.
        As many know, his relics are incorrupt.

        The other three adjectives are realistic to expect from hierarchs or
        candidates for episcopal sees.

        My idea : as long as musical chairs are being contemplated perhaps,
        why not nominate Abbot Gerasim [Eliel] as at least a Vicar for
        the Diocese of the West, or even possibly as a new Ruling Bishop to
        replace everyone-knows-who — ??

        Fr Gerasim, easygoing in character, but a suitably strict
        monastic, would be a sensible choice to patch up all the wounds
        and get the West moving forward after appalling scandal [dwarfing that
        of the MidWest like the Titanic would have compared with a Hobie Cat catamaran.]

        This plan would be much more realistic than having an abbot with
        decades of experience behind him go to the South, where he
        wouldn’t really know anyone and thus could not provide strong leadership which could reverse what really is a severe problem if the present
        incumbent stays on. The OCA will be literally run into the ground
        if that is allowed to happen.

        And present incumbent Benjamin will laugh. Why? Because
        this is how sociopaths are. They enjoy causing misery for
        as many people as they possibly can.

      • Carl Kraeff says

        Echoes of Donatus Magnus.

  22. This latest “top down” news from the OCA has left me searching for words.
    All I can find to say about it is that it is totally irrational to me.
    irrational |iˈra sh ənl|
    1 not logical or reasonable.
    • not endowed with the power of reason.

    • Carl Kraeff says

      Come on Father Deacon, don’t hold back!

      • Carl, all I can think of to add to what I said above is:
        [U]nintelligible, impossible to understand, impenetrable, unclear, indecipherable, inscrutable, beyond one’s comprehension, beyond one, beyond one’s grasp, complicated, complex, involved, baffling, bewildering, mystifying, unfathomable, puzzling, cryptic, confusing, perplexing; abstruse, esoteric, recondite, arcane, mysterious, Delphic; informal over one’s head

  23. QUESTION for everyone here: When does a Local Church stop being and becoming the Body of Christ and morph into a corporation obsessed with corporate management?

    • When their leaders stop behaving like Christians. That’s when.

      • Michael Bauman says

        When the faithful have given up the desire for holiness and the willingness to submit to the truth in the love of Christ. Even in an hierarchical Church, we cannot be dependent on the talents and virtue (or lack thereof) of our hierarchs. That is part of the lesson (IMO) that Jesus was imparting when he told Peter not to worry about His plans for John.

        We need our bishops and we should be greatful for them and pray for them as they have an humanly impossible job, but we cannot afford to pass the buck to them. They, in and of themselves, are not the Church. No matter the quality of our bishops and other clergy, if we want Christ deeply enough, we will get Christ. If we want or are willing to settle for anything less, that’s what we will get even if our bishop is the greatest saint ever seen on earth. That is why it is impossible to purify the Church unless I purify my own heart first. Once I’ve allowed the Holy Spirit to do that, the Church is pure. Precisely why the Fathers of the Church thought schismatics worse than heretics.

        We receive the type and quality of leaders that we want and deserve (politically and ecclesially). I dare say, if anyone of our bishops were a saint, we’d not like them very much. Look what happened to St. John of Shanghai & San Francisco.